Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Caps get Back(strom) at Habs

| April 18, 2010 9:00 PM

Nicklas Backstrom completed a hat trick by scoring only 31 seconds into overtime, helping the top-seeded Washington Capitals finish a wild comeback to beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 6-5 on Saturday night and even their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at a game apiece.

Montreal led 2-0 after its first two shots, prompting Washington to yank goalie Jose Theodore, and then went ahead 4-1. But with Alex Ovechkin producing a goal and three assists, the Capitals kept rallying.

"We were a desperate team," Capitals forward Tomas Fleischmann said.

Rookie defenseman John Carlson tied it at 5-all with 1:21 left in regulation, and Backstrom's wrister past Jaroslav Halak won it.

"The only way we were going to win tonight was if we decided to go all offense," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "By no stretch did we probably deserve to win. But we got lucky."

Andrei Kostitsyn had a hat trick for the eighth-seeded Canadiens.

"They threw everything at us," Montreal's Tomas Plekanec said. "We had some defensive breakdowns. They shot everything at the net."

Game 3 is Monday in Montreal.

Bruins 5, Sabres 3: Michael Ryder and Zdeno Chara scored 2 minutes apart in the third period and Boston rallied at Buffalo to tie the first-round playoff series at 1.

Game 3 is Monday at Boston.

Kings 3, Canucks 2, OT: Anze Kopitar scored on a power play 7:28 into overtime and Los Angeles overcame a two-goal deficit to win at Vancouver, tying the Western Conference series at a game apiece.

Game 3 is Monday at Los Angeles.