Brooks Laich Lifts Caps Past Bruins In OT

Nicklas Backstrom scored at 7:36 of the first period to put the Capitals up 1-0. His shot found a way through Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and barely made it over the goal line before Dennis Wideman brushed the puck back out. After a nearly six minute video review the goal was allowed to stand. It was Backstrom’s 31st goal of the season, with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble picking up the assists. The Capitals have scored first in seven of the last 10 games.

With time winding down in the opening period, the Capitals lost a face off in their own zone and Boston scored the equalizer when Wideman’s shot from the blue line eluded Jose Theodore with just two seconds remaining.

Boston took a 2-1 lead at 7:55 of the second period when Patrice Bergeron slipped past the Capitals defense and faked down Theodore before scoring his 19th goal of the season.

In the second period, it was the Capitals finding the back of the net with just :29 seconds left. Alex Ovechkin’s pass toward the crease was tipped by Mike Knuble with Zdeno Chara draped all over him. Knuble’s 27th goal of the season evened the score at 2-2.

After a scoreless third period the Capitals headed into overtime for the 10th time in the last 19 games.

Just :24 seconds into extra time Tomas Fleischmann drew a high sticking call against Dennis Wideman and the Capitals were in business, and needed just :20 seconds to score on the power play. Brooks Laich scored from the top of the crease to give the Capitals a hard earned 3-2 win against a Bruins squad trying to hang onto a playoff spot.

Mike Knuble is the seventh Capitals player to reach 50 points this season. Alex Ovechkin had a pair of assists and now has 104 points, just two behind Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin for the league lead in scoring. Ovechkin has 46 goals, trailing Sidney Crosby by one heading into their head-to-head matchup on Tuesday at the Igloo.

Nicklas Backstrom dished out a pair of helpers to increase his point total to 95 for the season. With three games left, Backstrom has a chance to join Ovechkin with 100 points this year. The Capitals have never had two players record 100 points in the same season.

With his second overtime winner this year, Brooks Laich is the eighth Caps player to record four or more game-winners this season. Ovechkin leads the team with six, Alexander Semin and Knulble each have five, Backstrom Fleischmann, Matt Bradley and Mike Green each had four.

The Capitals have scored three or more goals in 34 of their last 38 games. The Bruins are the lowest scoring team in the league and have scored just seven goals in their last five games.

Each team had 30 shots on goal. Jose Theodore stopped 28 shots to improve to 29-7-7 this season. He improved to 19-0-3 in his last 22 decisions and hasn’t lost in regulation since Jan. 12. Tuukka Rask also made 28 saves in his first career game against the Capitals.

The Capitals finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play, and with three games remaining in the regular season can finish first in the NHL on the power play for the first time in frachise history. The Bruins were 0-for-3 with the extra man.

The Capitals travel to Pittsburgh for one last regular season game at Mellon Arena on Tuesday. Washington has won all three games against the Penguins this season.

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