BACKSTROM, 15th IN NHL SCORING, NOT SELECTED FOR ALL-STAR GAME
The NHL and the Washington Capitals announced today that LW Alex Ovechkin and D Dennis Wideman will represent the Caps at the 2012 NHL All-Star Celebration, to be held Jan. 26-29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont.
Ovechkin is having a down year by his standards, with 17 goals and 16 assists for the season, playing to a minus-8, but his popularity is essential to a game that will be missing star power, notably Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, still out with concussion symptoms. This will be Ovechkin’s fifth consecutive All-Star game, tying the club record held by Peter Bondra.
Wideman, 28, will be making his first appearance at an NHL All-Star Game. The Kitchener, Ontario, native currently ranks fifth in the league among defensemen in points (29), tied for fourth in goals (8), tied for fifth in assists (21) and leads the Capitals in average ice time (24:08).
Center Nicklas Backstrom was passed over by the selection committee. The Swedish pivot is 15th in the NHL in scoring and leads the Caps with 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points. Backstrom’s 29 helpers is eighth in the entire league.