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Capitals even series with Bruins in second overtime

Senators get an overtime victory over top-seeded Rangers.

April 14, 2012
  • Washington center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins during the Capitals' 2-1 victory Saturday in Boston.
Washington center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against… (Charles Krupa / Associated…)

Nicklas Backstrom scored 2:56 into the second overtime Saturday to give the visiting Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins and tie the first-round playoff series at a game apiece.

Braden Holtby stopped 43 shots for Washington in his second career postseason game.

Tim Thomas made 37 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Troy Brouwer opened the scoring for the Capitals in the second period, and Benoit Pouliot tied it with 7:47 left in regulation.

Early in the second overtime, Washington won a faceoff in the Boston zone and Marcus Johansson got the puck from behind the net. He passed it to Backstrom at the left faceoff circle and he wristed it past Thomas on his stick side.

Thomas barely moved as the puck sailed by his blocker. As soon as it hit the back of the net, he quickly headed for the locker room while the Capitals congratulated each other in the same corner of the rink where Boston celebrated its single-overtime Game 1 victory.

Game 3 is Monday night in Washington.

The Capitals took their first lead of the series when Brouwer poked a puck out of the crease and under Thomas, who was blocked by Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon. That ended Thomas' postseason shutout streak at 161:41 — a span that included shutouts in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and Game 1 of this series.

Boston tied it when Kelly's shot was deflected and left trickling into the center of the ice. Holtby moved out to get it, but Pouliot beat him there, chipping it over the charging goaltender and into the net just before he barreled over Holtby and sent him sprawling. It was Pouliot's first career playoff goal.

Ottawa 3, at New York Rangers 2 (OT): Chris Neil scored 1:17 into overtime, and the Senators rallied for a wild victory 2 to even the Eastern Conference series.

Neil got to a loose puck in front off a rebound and backhanded the puck past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

The top-seeded Rangers seemed poised to grab a 2-0 series lead when Brian Boyle scored in the third period, but Nick Foligno tied it with 4:37 left in regulation.

at St. Louis 3, San Jose 0: Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak combined for a shutout, the Sharks put themselves in an early hole when Marc-Edouard Vlasic tapped the puck into his own net and the Blues evened the series at a game apiece.

Vladimir Sobotka was credited with a goal on the first shot of the game after Vlasic's gaffe. David Backes and David Perron also scored, and T.J. Oshie had two assists in the Blues' first playoff victory since 2004.

Halak and Elliott combined for 15 shutouts in the regular season, tying a modern NHL record, and won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed. Elliott was quite the luxury as a backup after setting a modern NHL record with a 1.56 goals-against average and nine of the shutouts.

Chicago 4, Phoenix 3 (OT): Bryan Bickell scored 11:36 into overtime and the Blackhawks evened the series after scoring in the closing seconds of regulation for the second straight game.

Phoenix won the opener, 3-2, in overtime after giving up a goal to Brent Seabrook with 14 seconds left in regulation. Patrick Sharp did it to the Coyotes with even less time remaining in Game 2, redirecting a shot by Patrick Kane with 5.5 seconds left.

The Blackhawks pulled it out this time, with Bickell beating Mike Smith from between the circles after Viktor Stalberg kept a pass by Rostislav Klesla in Phoenix's zone. It was Bickell's second goal of the game.

Antoine Vermette had two goals for the Coyotes.

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