Round 1, Game 2: Backstrom sinks Canadiens

Capitals’ Mike Knuble and Nicklas Backstrom celebrates
Backstrom’s wining goal on Canadiens’ Jaroslav Halak Saturday night.
Chuck Myers/MCT

Preview | Matchups | Saturday’s NHL schedule | The Red Line | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story

Audio: Hal Gill | Tomas Plekanec | Andrei Kostitsyn

• At a Glance: For the second time in as many games, the Canadiens and Capitals went to overtime in their opening round playoff series. This time, it didn’t last long. Nicklas Backtrom capped his hat trick with a blistering wrist shot only 31 seconds into the first overtime for a 6-5 Capitals win. The Canadiens had led the game 4-1 at one point, but were not able to hold off the potent Capitals. It was a short night of work for José Theodore in the Capitals net. Brian Gionta scored on a slap shot a minute into the game on the first shot Theodore saw. He wouldn’t see another shot on goal until Andrei Kostitsyn beat him with a wicked wrist shot 7:58 into the opening period. Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau had seen enough and replaced Theodore with Semyon Varlamov. Eric Fehr got the Capitals on the board when he beat Jaroslav Halak on a breakaway 10:21 into the first period. Kostistyn would add two more goals in the second period for the hat trick, the first by a Canadiens player since Eric Desjardins in 1993, giving the Canadiens a 4-1 lead. But the Capitals went to work after that, with Nicklas Backstrom scoring a pair and Alex Ovechkin adding one to tie the game 4-4 before the midway point of the third period. Tomas Plekanec scored his second goal in as many games to give the Canadiens a 5-4 lead with five minutes to play on a nice pass from Michael Cammalleri, his third assist of the game. But John Carlson scored with 1:21 to go in the third period to tie the game 5-5 and force overtime.

• What It Means: The Capitals tied the best-of-seven series 1-1.

• What’s Next:
Game 3 and 4 are Monday and Wednesday at the Bell Centre.

View from there:

The Washington Post

The Washington Times


  1. chelios_24 says:

    In the regular season..Joe Thorton, Dany Heately and Ovechkin are the kings.


    In the playoffs I’ll take Sid the Kid, Zetterberg, Getzlaf over any other forward…

  2. Woah_Dana says:

    How great is that?

    Love it.


    GO HABS!

  3. mrhabby says:

    yup ,yup..right on.

  4. Woah_Dana says:

    Today was RIDICULOUSLY long.

    Seeing the B’s shake up the Sabres really pumped me up, too.

    The clock is ticking.. just shy of an hour now 🙂


    GO HABS!

  5. Woah_Dana says:



    GO HABS!

  6. Rush says:


  7. rated_R says:

    that would be soooo EPIC! but at the same time kinda disrecptful…i mean he did win us a vezina and hart trophy…and an upset against the big bad bruins

  8. Bugs says:

    Gotta keep in mind the Capper mandate headin into this thing: they wanted to SWEEP us, remember? Like we were NUTHIN. Like Sigourney says in Alien 3: “They don’t give a damn about us; they think we’re…we’re CRUD.”

    But at the end of the day, they’re just kids. Little kids still scared of the dark. And we were champions of the world when they were still calling a feather “macaroni”.

    We got our win in Washytown. We have the advantage. No matter what happens tonight.

    Because once they get here…we’ll be there to come down on’em hard with both feet. Kids. About to be taught a lesson in real intimidation.

    And they know it. Now, they’re scared. Panicking. Cuz win or lose, we got’em right where we want’em.

    No matter what happens tonight.

    Let’s get it on.

    Ridiculously overhyped, call me

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  9. j2w4habs25 says:

    Man, today seems soo long. I got up at 7am this morning all pumped – I believe the Habs can this game 2 and who knows what can happen in Montreal.

    I go to bed thinking HABS, wake up thinking HABS! 😀

  10. Brooklyn Johnny says:

    Thank you for this… absolutely made me laugh on a day I am working and will miss the first period of tonights game…


    “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research” -Albert Einstein

    GO HABS GO!!!

  11. j2w4habs25 says:

    GO HABS GO!!!…

    2 more hours 🙂

  12. B says:

    Rather than sitting back and trying to weather the onslaught, I hope they come out flying themselves. I don’t want to see them back on their heels and trying to hold on, come out skating hard and take it to the Caps!

  13. Jeff says:

    That was a riot!  Can yopu spell p i s s e d o f f CAPS fan! 

    Great shot by the cameraman as he was being threatened too….Ha! Ha!

  14. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the thing about 4 game series and Playoff Hockey is the momentum
    can shift period to period, let alone game to game

    …We played
    after the first as like-minded and within Ourselves …We did not allow
    their skills and physicality to determine Our Game

    …against Washington, logically, We have a snowball’s chance in
    hell to win this series, or Our Game tonight …yet, THAT is WHAT We
    live for …the impossible becoming possible

    …play within
    Ourselves …and YEAH ! …I believe it is ‘possible’

    …GO HABS
    !!! …Go ! …eh ???

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  15. Roger HABbit says:

    Ovi is overrated.  I would take Sid “the kid” over Ovi any day.  Now Sid….  that’s a kid with HEART.  There is no giving up in him.  He  just doesn’t know how to stop.  Did you see the winning goal last night against the Sen’s.  Even though Sid didn’t score it, the goal was all about him and  his will not to give up. 

  16. 100HABS says:

    Good call – didn’t notice the puck on the side. No wonder it fooled him.

  17. SmartDog says:

    Glad you said all that, saves me from having to.

    Gomez played well – especially late in the game. But 1 shot in 24 minutes doesn’t exactly make him a giant, even if it went in – and yes it was a good play.  But you guys kill me – if I mentio him, I get shouted at, if I don’t, I get shouted at.  I think you have a man crush on the little guy.

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  18. says:

    With the puck up on side like that no wonder Jose couldn’t stop it.  Hockey’s version of a 80mph knuckle ball.

    They call me Shane

  19. 100HABS says:

    Is that pic of Pleks form the game-winning goal? I thought that puck was only about 3/4 speed, but with the flex on that stick, it must have been a pretty hard shot…

  20. ed lopaz says:

    first – anyone who has been a fan as long as you deserves my respect.

    second  -you clearly know your hockey – because  we agree. on many things. 🙂

    I have a son and a daughter who play defence so i find myself watching the defence more than the puck

    enjoy the game!!

  21. bigjames says:

    in my view, the best way to get in to theo’s head at the bell is not to chant “tay-o” but to chant “mill-er.” there i said it….

  22. deuce6 says:

    I wouldn’t say

    The guy has 269 goals in his 1st 5 seasons..


  23. terrygain says:

    Yes. The long term. 

  24. terrygain says:

    I thought Spacek (And Hamrlik) were absolutely HORRIBLE in the first period – then Spacek played better and Hamrlik…well he was Hamrlik

    For the most part I agree but I’ll take 44 over 6 any day. Spacek and Hamrlik have given up a lot of breakaways this year, but it’s been mainly because of bad Spacek pinches. I  watch Spacek  very closely because – despite his very good plus/ minus I think he’s our weak link. He gave the puck away four times in the first period. I credit him with a giveaway for the, ill-advised pass off Hamrik’s skate -when Hamrlik was being checked- that led to a breakaway. 

    I think the vast majority of fans who believe Spacek played a great game got sucked in by Maguire’s idiotic Monster raving. I’ll be watching 6 again tonight. I think he’s our weak link. I hope I am proven wrong.  Gill is Allan Stanley slow and clumsy. And  Allan Stanley effective.  MAB  is okay as long as he avoids the zany high risk passes, but I’d rather have 20 clearing the front of the net and MAB on the 4th line with Darche, who is always  hard on the puck and steady.

  25. Danno says:

    Alexander the Over-8-ted?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  26. aemarchand11 says:

    If we can pull out another game tonight, I have to like our chances. At the same time, Ovechkin down two games heading into Montreal, which is his favorite place to play can only mean bad things. This series inst over until its over and the handshake has started.

    -Halak it alot because the Price is right-

  27. jimstr says:

    i have chills 🙂 happy game everyone…


    . if u open too much ur mind ur brain will fall out.

  28. deuce6 says:

    We are up 1 game in a best of 7 series on the best team in the league and you are complaining about hurting a bottom pairing d-man’s development? Am I missing something here?


  29. Bill H says:

    LOL, yes, I know.  The taste of one’s own words can be bitter indeed.  I congratulate you for resisting the tempation of adding, after Gomez’s name, “but he’s still paid way too much and his cap hit will cripple this team for the next 5 years.”

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Can you just imagine the noise when we show up at the Bell Center up by two games! Hang onto your hats boys and girls, these play offs are going to be a hell of a ride.

  31. Storm Man says:

    Nah he gave his game 2 tickets away

  32. Habscore says:

    If the Caps lose again, that guy will start a riot..hahhaa

  33. TorontoHabsFan says:

    FYI, The Washington Times is the brain child of Sun Myung Moon (of Unification Church or “Moonie” fame) and probably should never be presented as an *actual* newspaper.

    Otherwise – GO HABS GO!!!

  34. ed lopaz says:

    I thought Gill and Gorges were out against Ovechkin just as often as Spacek.

    I thought Spacek (And Hamrlik) were absolutely HORRIBLE in the first period – then Spacek played better and Hamrlik…well he was Hamrlik

    I thought Spacek made a great play in the 3 on 1 rush by lying down to block the pass – but I have to tell you guys – I have 16 year old son (who no one pays 3.8 million) and he has made that play several times this year – yes, the play came at the right time – in overtime – it was very clutch.

    I thought Pyatt, Gill, Gorges, did more to stop Ovechkin than Spacek – but it seems like everyone is freaking out over Spacek.

    It was a group effort to stop Ovechkin – I did not see the “MONSTER” game (Mcguire) for Spacek, as others have described

    Also, I still think that OB should used.

    He is very useful as a big body down low – even if he is dressed as a 7th defenceman is used in spot duty.

    I think this is hurting OB”s developement and he can be useful to us.

    I’m hoping OB will become a steady, big man on the back end, long after Spacek, Hamrlik, Mara, and Jacques martin have gone.

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    We’ll have to watch and wait, but I think some people are getting a little too giddy about the idea that Ovechkin isn’t going to be a giant pain in our butts for this series. I believe in this team as always, but I also acknowledge Ovechkin is one of those guys who can just ruin your day.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. SmartDog says:

    Good point. I still think he’s easier to shut down than Crosby and some other stars.  But maybe that’s just by us!

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  37. SmartDog says:

    Hopefully he’ll pull a Komiserik and spend half the game in the penalty box.

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  38. SmartDog says:

    Gime a break…

    Guys I didn’t mention who had a great game:








    …. duh…it was just a few notes, not a game breakdown. And Pleks and Halak were both game stars.

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    1. He’s still 30 points in 22 career playoff games, I wouldn’t count him out. He wasn’t that big against the Rangers last season until the 5th game or so than he just became the reason they won. It took him until game 5 to score this as they won 3 straight to take the series.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  40. Bill H says:

    That was just as hilarious the second time around.  Thanks for posting the link.

  41. Bill H says:

    LOL is that irony?  He takes a poke at Martin for not understating the play of Halak, but fails to acknowledge the huge contribution of Gomez.  I guess that would be like eating his own words.

  42. deuce6 says:

    People rag on Hal Gill, but he knows the game and doesn’t try to do more than what he is asked to do…His sheer knowledge and leadership will be priceless through out this series and hopefully

    Comment from Hal that I found that I thought summed up their game plan..He knows and gets it..Hopefully this kind of knowledge rubs off on our younger, more inexperienced guys..

    “We want to play in their face as much as possible,” Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill said. “It’s not about killing them or running them through the boards, it’s about not giving them time and space.”


  43. Corporate says:

    That can be to our advantage. If he gets too emotional he makes mistakes. Also, I just hope that when he is really frustrated, he does not take out one of our guys.

  44. Corporate says:

    Martin is one way in front of the camera and another behind. He is not one to show emotion during an interview. he must have gone to the Gainey School of Conferences. But I am sure in the dressing room, he told the players that he won because of that guy right there… not Plecky, but Halak. I am sure they kow what is on the line and with Gionta, Gomez, Gill, and others, we can prevail.

  45. deuce6 says:

    We need to come out strong defensively and let the Caps play on sheer adrenaline..They will be taking chances and we need to pop a quick one to break their back..That would be HUGE!!


  46. deuce6 says:

    Great post, Dog..I share the exact same thoughts…

    I don’t know if I read it here or somewhere else, but one stat that stood out to me was that we have the most playoff experience of all the playoff teams on the backend? That is self assuring for tonight because those guys that Gainey picked up with the rings and experience will go a long way in making this a series…

    It is only one game, but there are a number of reasons to be optimistic..Leafers say we were lucky to win that game..Why? All I seen were the Habs in the WAS end from the 2nd period on..All of their chances came from transition..Ours came from a relentless forecheck that were making the WAS defense play hot potato with the



  47. lavie says:

    6. Gomez. lol

  48. ManApart says:

    Wow, Ovie’s taking a lot of heat after game 1. That guy will come out with everything he has tonight. It will be interesting to see how the Habs respond. If they can get out of the first tied or even 1 goal down, i Think that would be a great result and the game would be up for grabs. They must not play to cautiously and lose their aggresion of the 2nd half of game 1.

  49. SmartDog says:


    1. “Ovi is injured” is a whiny excuse for why we kicked their butts. Ovi is not the big game performer that other greats are. We saw that in the Olympics too.  He does best in regular games when the spotlight is on him.

    2. Why is Martin always the one with the LEAST praise for our goaltending. (Quote: “I think he played extremely well (Thursday) night,” Martin said. “But
    it’s one game.”)  How hard is it to say: He really did a great job for us tonight, the team owes a lot to his play and compsure and we hope the same going forward”. 

    3. With all this about the habs squeaking by the Caps…blah, blah, blah.. what about the 20 minutes when they couldn’t get us out of their end and Theo had to rob 3-4 guys to keep them in it at all? Habs have to do the same and show these bums they’re regular season pretenders.

    4. Pleky. What was great out Pleks last game is he just played his game. He was just consistantly strong, no attempts to be flashy, or change his play, just gave EVERY shift, and then when he had the opportuntiy – bang!  This is what I like about him.

    5. Spacek & Marky. These are two guys who know what a big game is – they both had one of their best games of the season.  Makes me think they know what they’re doing out there!

    Can’t wait for the game!  Go Habs!! Caps SUCK!!!


    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  50. deuce6 says:

    Before this series is all said and done, Moen will play a huge role..His size and speed down low will start to wear on their weak defense and they will start to show fatigue and tire out…Having their forwards play defense is all the more to be optimistic about this series going our way..We get great goal tending and good special teams play? We will win this series on sheer hustle and grit…Interesting note..Erskine was a healthy scratch last game? I hope he is tonight, as well..

    HAMMER their defense relentlessly when they have the puck!!
    Hit, hit, hit..


  51. says:


    Bleu, blanc et ROUGE THAT IS

    They call me Shane

  52. novahab says:

    Are you kidding me your taking about Ovechkin he does anything he wants to do. When Kovy was here do you think he could bring over a private trainer with out the truth coming out. Ovie knows he is protected in Washington and he can do what ever he wants,  the team will always kiss his ……. the truth will be in how he performs tonite. I say he hurting and if he pushes to hard he will go down. You could see it in his face in that interview there is something wrong. Hey maybe he just sick of that big mouth Boudreau .

  53. deuce6 says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the Yotes and the NHL are paying their fans to come

    How can you have noone there for a half a decade and all of a sudden you got guys painting themselves and looking “Canadian” when they get decent? Say what you will, but I honestly think the Yotes are being showcased..But, you never know with big business…


  54. Mattee. says:

    That’s the kind of attitude I like to see. You gotta believe!!

  55. joeybarrie says:

    Cmon boys, I got a soccer game tomorrow, and I really, really want to wear my Habs jersey to the game. If we go up 2-0 it will stick to my Caps fan teammates. First the Olympics and hopefully 2-0. I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT TO WEAR MY JERSEY TO THE GAME…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  56. habsfansince91 says:

    lol anyone catch this at the end of the habs caps game? I was watching tsn and didn’t even see it.

  57. Corporate says:

    Like your tag line… But Phoenix is putting on a hell of a show this year. I fnd every series has intensity and passion. It is crazy. I watched 4 games last night and they were all great except Chicago… There didn’t seem to be any energy there.

  58. deuce6 says:

    The Habs did a great job of clogging up the neutral zone as the game wore on, in game 1…Say what you will about WAS, but their game is ALL transition..You can pin them deep in their zone for lengthy periods of time and get great scoring chances..If it weren’t for Theo, that game would have been a blow out for the Habs..Halak was solid..He came up big when he had to, but Theo made all the more difficult saves..Same game plan tonight?..Choke off the speed through the neutral zone and get the puck deep behind their weak defensive game..WAS = all flash, no substance..


  59. Rugger says:

    I agree that the Caps will come out flying tonight, which will lead to a 2-0 lead…for the Habs, on a 2 on 1 and a 3 on 1 as the Caps over commit to the offense.

  60. deuce6 says:

    If he is being sarcastic, it went entirely over my


  61. deuce6 says:

    How does the team not know their “face” is playing with an injury that could progress into something more severe and a reporter/the media know the ins and outs of it? Doesn’t make any sense..Why would they have him in the line up down the stretch with the playoffs looming and 1st wrapped up..I’m calling a lot of BS and he simply got shut down by a better game plan..


  62. Corporate says:

    I see the your sarcastic but honestly, if he continues to play the way he does, eventually he will get injured and it will be bad. You can’t keep hitting people and never get hit back. When he gets a real injury he will be out for a ver very long time.

  63. novahab says:

    Ovenchkin has a pulled groin and he havning trouble making sharp turns so he can mostly go north and south.  His trainer came over because he’s the guru and he has the magic bag of special treatments. He pulled it in the first peroid because he was so hyped up and after a long season and the olympics and his special training meds the muscles are breaking down. You could see in that interview when he was asked about is performance and what Fat boy BB said about him. Sure Boudreau doesn’t know he hurt because no Wastington Doc would get near him he has his own people wink wink that take care of that. I am predicting he will come out flying and tear the groin and the season will be over for him. I hoping he just can’t skate well and stays in the games. A hurting Ovie complaining and seperating that dresing room is better that a hurt Ovie that can’t play then the Caps might rally.

  64. Corporate says:

    Well with Halak’s record. I would actually welcome it… When he gets less than 30 he seems lost or loses focus.

  65. Clay4bc says:

    Here’s hoping the Caps get more than 45 shots tomorrow morning (tonight for most of you)!


    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

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