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Backstrom leads beatdown of Blackhawks

The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom is usually the one setting up his Washington Capitals teammates.

Two of them returned the favor Wednesday night.

Backstrom ended a 21-game goal drought and had two assists, and Washington’s top-line trio of Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson combined for 11 points in a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Wilson had two goals and two assists for his first four-point game, and Ovechkin had a goal and three assists, and the duo made good on their plan to get Backstrom a goal.

“It’s funny. 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 not a goal scorer. He’s more a passer. He likes to pass, but it’s nice to put him on the board.”

Backstrom ended his goal drought at 11:54 of the first when he finished a tic-tac-toe sequence by one-timing Ovechkin’s pass past Anton Forsberg for his fourth of the season. Wilson had the other assist. Backstrom hadn’t scored since Oct. 14 in Philadelphia, matching the second-longest drought of his career.

“Yeah, they better,” Backstrom joked when told of Ovechkin’s remark. “That was a great play by both of them. Great way to get it started and we kept rolling.”

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, a streak that started when the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson line was formed.

Brett Connolly scored in his third straight game, and Evgeny Kuznetsov added a goal.

Ovechkin extended his goals streak to three games.

Lance Bouma and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which outshot Washington 39-25. The Blackhawks are 0-3-2 in their last five.

“Not happy about tonight’s game,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

“You can be misled by the shot [total] or maybe it looked like we had some looks there. The volume of our shots hit him right in the chest with no chance of getting a second opportunity whether there was some people at the net or not.”

Wilson’s spinning shot from the left circle eluded Forsberg with 5:07 to go in the first period.

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