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

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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

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