Two of them returned the favor Wednesday night.
Tom Wilson scored twice, Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom registered goals, and the trio combined for seven assists Wednesday as the Capitals used a first-period scoring flurry to cruise to a 6-2 victory over the sliding Chicago Blackhawks.
During the first period, Backstrom patroled the Capitals' offensive zone as Tom Wilson dished the puck to Alex Ovechkin.
"It's amusing. Me and Tom have a chat today and said, 'Let's set up Backy.' And we did and he scored a goal", Ovechkin said. He's more a passer. While he recorded nine assists since then, Backstrom hadn't found the back of the net in his last 21 games. Wilson had the other assist. Though Backstrom has steadily been accumulating assists, he entered Wednesday night's game without a goal since October 14, Washington's sixth game of the season. "They're having some pretty good production right now". "Especially when you play against a great team, you have a tough matchup and when you beat them the feeling is unbelievable". "When we got down, they just seemed to feed off it".
Wilson and Ovechkin soon scored to make it 3-0.
Braden Holtby made 37 saves for Washington to help the Capitals win for the sixth time in seven games. He also nabbed assists on goals by Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ovechkin extended his goals streak to three games.
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Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, who have been grouped together for much of this season, are separated in the new lines, which were revealed during the team's morning skate at the Capital One Arena in Washington Wednesday. The Blackhawks are 0-3-2 in their last five.
The Chicago Blackhawks have lost four games in a row, and head coach Joel Quenneville has taken a sledgehammer to his line combinations as he is apparently ready to start from scratch. Only 29 seconds later, Wilson's breakaway shot was turned away by Forsberg, but the rebound went through Artem Anisimov's legs and right to Ovechkin, who didn't miss from point-blank range.
Anton Forsberg, starting in place of the injured Corey Crawford, was pulled after Ovechkin's goal made it 3-0 with 4:38 left in the first.
"He's always been a guy that's been full committed at both ends of the ice", Holtby said about Wilson. I think it's energized that line a little bit. Oshie, missing his first game with an undisclosed upper-body injury suffered Monday against the San Jose Sharks. Trotz said forward Andre Burakovsky, out since October after surgery to fix his broken left thumb, could possibly play Friday against the New York Rangers.
"I think our line right now feels very good", Ovechkin said.