Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom should have been celebrating his 25th birthday in Dallas playing the Stars, instead the NHL lockout forced him to spend his special day playing hockey in Russia for Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League against Severstal Cherepovets. Not quite the Las Vegas of Western Russia, but still a day the 25-year-old won’t soon forget.
Backstrom celebrated his birthday in grand fashion with a goal and three assists in Dynamo’s 5-3 comeback win over Severstal. Opposing goalie Vasily Koshechkin probably won’t forget the game anytime soon either after his team blew a 3-0 in the defeat in suffering its tenth regulation loss of the year.
Dynamo fell behind 3-0 early, but used four goals is a span of ten minutes in the second period to pull themselves back from the dead. Late in the period Backstrom and fellow Capitals’ star, Alexander Ovechkin, took the game over. The birthday boy carried the puck into the attacking end, leaping over an incoming hip check from a Severstal defender to find Ovechkin for the eventual game-winning goal; it was Ovi’s second of the game.
Backstrom put the game on ice late in the third period by banging home nifty pass to secure the win and keep Dynamo Moscow at the top of the KHL standings. Dynamo picked up its 16th win of the season and pulled three points (61 pts.) ahead of second place Lokomotiv (58 pts.).
Backstrom has been on fire over since making the jump from the locked out NHL to the KHL. Since November 14, Backstrom has scored six goals, including a hat trick. He has 15 points (7g 8a) overall in 10 games.
The NHL lockout is now into its third month and another round of games cancellations that include the wildly popular Winter Classic and All-Star game, it looks like Backstrom and the other NHL’ers playing overseas still have plenty of time to pad their stats. Lucky us.
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