NHL Game Summary - Washington at Chicago
(Sunday, March 14th)
Final Score: Washington 4, Chicago 3 (OT)
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, including the winning goal at 3:10 of overtime, as the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, at United Center.
Backstrom, Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr scored 2:16 apart in the third period to erase a 3-0 deficit. Jose Theodore made 20 saves for the Capitals, who have already secured their third consecutive Southeast Division title and lead the NHL with 101 points.
"We were aware of their starts. They just do a really good job at the beginning of the game," Laich said. "Once it got to 3-0, Jose shut the door to give us a chance."
Washington mustered the comeback without captain Alex Ovechkin. He missed the majority of the contest after receiving a major and a game misconduct for shoving Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell, who crashed violently into the end boards from behind at the 12:16 mark of the first period. Campbell's right shoulder appeared to absorb most of the collision. He did not return to the game.
Jonathan Toews had a pair of goals for Chicago, which was coming off a tough 3-2 loss in Philadelphia on Saturday. The Blackhawks surrendered two goals in the final 2:04 against the Flyers, including Chris Pronger's game-winner with 2.1 seconds left.
Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots to take the loss.
Washington got on the board when Laich converted a Mike Green rebound for a power-play goal at 5:29 of the final period.
David Steckel won a race to negate an icing and quickly centered the puck to Fehr, who tied the game at 7:45, just 13 seconds after Backstrom cashed in a friendly carom off the lively end boards.
The Swede struck again in overtime, pushing the puck down the left side on an odd-man rush and slipping a shot through the pads of Niemi after dangling the puck around a defenseman.
"We let them back in the game. We took penalties and did other little things that gave them a chance," Toews said.
Chicago took advantage of a breakdown in coverage to open the scoring at the seven-minute mark of the first period.
Following a faceoff win by Toews in the Washington zone, Patrick Kane, who saw a nine-game point streak end in the loss to Philadelphia, moved the puck over to defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson at the left point. Hjalmarsson then fed an uncovered Toews for a successful one-timer below the right circle.
Ovechkin's day ended prematurely several minutes later.
The chief scoring chance during the extended power play belonged to Alexander Semin. The Washington sniper had a breakaway in the final minute, but Niemi made a left pad save.
Unfortunately, for Semin, his momentum carried him into the rookie Finn, which resulted in a goaltender interference penalty and a brief two-man advantage for the Blackhawks.
Toews' 5-on-3 tally gave Chicago a two-goal lead with 3:06 to play in the opening frame. A redirection from the high slot by John Madden made it 3-0 at 6:54 of the second period.
Theodore improved to 14-0-2 in his last 16 decisions...Washington had lost three of four on the road...Capitals forward Boyd Gordon appeared in his 300th career game...Right winger Marian Hossa and defenseman Kim Johnsson were out of the lineup with upper-body injuries for Chicago...The Capitals reached the 100-point plateau in Game 69, setting a new franchise record first established in 1985-86 when the Caps reached the mark in Game 74 that season.
03/14 19:22:13 ET