Backstrom gives Capitals OT win over Hurricanes
WASHINGTON (AP) Washington's Nicklas Backstrom and Carolina's Anton Khudobin had a similar opinion of Backstrom's winning goal.
Luck was involved.
Backstrom scored off the rebound of Alex Ovechkin's shot at 4:46 of overtime to lift the Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Ovechkin skated in and let loose a blast from the right point. Khudobin made the save, but the puck went to Backstrom in the left circle, and he fired in his fourth goal of the season.
''I think I was just lucky to be in the right spot, to be honest with you. You never know where it's coming,'' Backstrom said.
It was a tough ending for Khudobin, who stopped 35 shots while playing in place of Cam Ward on the second night of back-to-back games.
''I tried to focus on the first shot,'' he said. ''The rebound was unlucky, I would say.''
The assist was the 400th of Ovechkin's career.
''In big games, you want your big players to step up,'' Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ''That's what those guys do. They like the spotlight, they want to be in it, and they usually come through.''
The Capitals squandered a 3-1 lead in the third period on goals by Carolina's Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm.
Troy Brouwer, Jay Beagle and Eric Fehr also scored for Washington, and John Carlson had two assists.
Justin Peters, signed by Washington as a free agent in July after playing in 68 games for the Hurricanes from 2009-14, stopped 24 shots in his first game against Carolina.
After losing five straight, the Capitals won on consecutive nights.
Riley Nash had a goal and an assist, and Justin Faulk had two assists for Carolina, which had won four straight.
Staal pulled Carolina within 3-2 when he converted a pass from Jeff Skinner at 8:38 of the third period. Faulk's wrist shot from the left point was deflected by Lindholm and eluded Peters with 6:07 left in regulation.
''It could have deflated us,'' Fehr said of Carolina's rally, ''but we kept going and got a big goal at the end.''
The Hurricanes trailed 2-1 after one period despite being outshot 18-3. Khudobin made several point-blank saves as the Capitals repeatedly swarmed the Carolina zone.
Washington broke through on a power play at 7:26 when Brouwer's shot deflected into the air. Carolina's Patrick Dwyer attempted to swat the puck out of danger, but instead sent it past Khudobin.
The Capitals made it 2-0 when Beagle fielded Carlson's shot off the back wall and banked the puck in off Khudobin for his first point of the season.
''It was good to see that the guys kept fighting to get the point, but if we start out like that it's hard to fight back,'' Faulk said. ''We were fortunate to get to overtime.''
Carolina made it 2-1 with a power-play goal by Nash, who beat Peters high on a drive from the left circle with 49 seconds left.
''We didn't put them away,'' Trotz said. ''In the first we could have been up more than a goal, that's for sure. We had some great looks, we had a lot of chances and they sort of hung around.''
Fehr made it 3-1 at 16:48 of the second period.
NOTES: Ovechkin ranks second on the Capitals' franchise assists list behind Michal Pivonka (418). ... Carolina D Tim Gleason missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Washington C Brooks Laich sat out and is day to day with an upper-body injury. He had returned to the lineup Friday in Chicago after missing seven games. ... Capitals RW Tom Wilson left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.