Forward Alex Ovechkin and centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov continue to power the Washington Capitals' strong start this season.
Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, Backstrom scored a goal and had three assists, and Kuznetsov had two assists in the Capitals' 5-2 win at the New Jersey Devils on Friday, giving each player 10 points through the first five games of the season for Washington (3-1-1). Ovechkin has an NHL-leading nine goals and one assist, Backstrom has two goals and eight assists, and all 10 of Kuznetsov's points have been assists. They share the NHL lead in points.
The Capitals are the 10th team in NHL history to have three or more players with least 10 points through the first five games of a season. The last team to do so was the San Jose Sharks in 2012-13, when centers Patrick Marleau (nine goals, four assists) and Joe Thornton (three goals, 10 assists) each had 13 points and center Joe Pavelski had 10 (two goals, eight assists).
Ovechkin continues to make history of his own. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he's the fourth player in the NHL's expansion era (since 1967-68) to score nine goals through his team's first five games of a season, joining New York Islanders forward Mike Bossy (1984-85), Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux (1988-89) and Marleau.
Ovechkin, a six-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer, had four goals through nine games last season and finished with 33, his lowest total in a full season since he had 32 in 2010-11.
Video: Backstrom, Oshie lead Caps to 5-2 win against Devils