WASHINGTON (AP) — Nic Dowd signed a $3.9 million, three-year extension with the Washington Capitals on Sunday, giving the reliable center some long-term security and a significant raise.

Dowd will count $1.3 million against the salary cap each of the past three seasons, almost double his current $750,000 value. He’s coming off a shortened 2021 season in which he scored a career-high 11 goals, and said he wanted to maintain the roots he has grown in the D.C. area.

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“Obviously, a lot of things go into it, but I think that this is a great spot to play,” Dowd said at the first intermission of the Capitals’ game Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I’ve been around a couple of other organizations — both good organizations — but this has definitely been home. And my wife loves it. We love it.”

Dowd has missed three consecutive games with a lower-body injury. He has been limited to nine games this season and has one goal.

The 31-year-old prioritized a solid new contract over the unknown of free agency, especially with the cap staying flat to account for pandemic revenue losses.

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“Free agency hasn’t been as friendly in the last couple years to a lot of people,” Dowd said. “You see some guys that don’t sign big deals, and that kind of surprises you, so I think the risk assessment was the biggest (part of the) decision-making process.”

Dowd scored arguably the biggest goal of his career in overtime of Game 1 of Washington’s first-round series against Boston in the first round last season. He has 79 points in 316 regular-season NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Capitals.

“I honestly feel like I’m getting right into my 27/28 years of my career, which, a lot of guys, that’s when they hit their peak,” Dowd said. “That’s how I feel about my career right now. And I think I’m a young 31-year-old. I think a lot of people don’t even realize I’m that old until they see it and they’re kind of surprised by it. So, yeah, I think I still have a lot left to give.”

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