Ovechkin, Backstrom are carrying the Capitals through the first round

A few long-standing traditions mercifully ended once Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom finally raised the Stanley Cup last June.

When the Capitals host the Hurricanes tonight, Ovechkin and Backstrom will be skating in their 12th career Game 7 together — the most by any two teammates in NHL history.

The way Ovechkin and Backstrom are producing this spring, the Capitals would be missing a tremendous opportunity if they don’t pull this off.

While the Capitals need more from 20-goal scorers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana —neither has scored this series — Ovechkin and Backstrom have arguably been playing some of the best playoff hockey of their careers.

“He’s the best goal scorer maybe in the entire history of the game and for him to play physical like that, he affects guys,” center Nic Dowd said.

This spring isn’t that point, and with veteran T.J. Oshie out indefinitely, both Ovechkin and Backstrom are doing much of the heavy lifting.

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