WASHINGTON (AP) – The Washington Capitals had pulled their goaltender and were pressing for the tying goal in the frantic final minute of regulation against the Anaheim Ducks.
It was a perfect opportunity for two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin to work his magic.
Except for the fact that he was on the bench.
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Nicklas Backstrom scored the tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, then added the game-winner at 2:18 of overtime to lift the Capitals to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night.
Washington trailed 3-0 in the second period and 4-2 with 10:47 left in regulation before rallying. It was 4-3 when coach Bruce Boudreau pulled goaltender Tomas Vokoun, and Backstrom hammered home the rebound of a shot by Jason Chimera to force the extra session.
But where was Ovechkin?
"I thought other guys were better than him and there was just a chance other guys might score the goal," Boudreau said. "Ninety-nine percent of the time Alex is the guy I think is going to score the goal. I just didn't think he was going to score the goal at that time tonight. You go with your gut feeling. I got lucky."
Ovechkin got his chance in overtime. With Backstrom standing to the right of the net, Ovechkin sent the puck toward goalie Jonas Hiller. Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman let the puck slip under his stick, and Backstrom scored easily to end it.
Washington improved to 6-0 at home and ended a two-game skid.
"We just stayed close encheap jerseys from chinaough," Boudreau said. "I thought when they got the fourth goal it might be something, but it says a lot about the resiliency of the team."
Teemu Selanne had two goals and two assists for the Ducks, who have lost three straight. Hiller stopped 35 shots.
"We played so well earlier in the game, then we started to self-destruct," coach Randy Carlyle said. "They're an offensive team that pounced on their chances, put pressure on us and we didn't react very well."
Now in his 20th season, the 41-year-old Selanne leads the Ducks in goals (five) and assists (nine). He has three goals and eight assists in his last six games.
"He's done his part and continues to," Carlyle said. "Other people have got to step up."
Anaheim was averaging two goals per game andwholesale jerseys had been held to one goal or fewer in five of its first 11 contests. The Ducks took only 15 shots, but more than a quarter of them made it past Vokoun.2011 NHL all star Jerseys
"I thought he played well," Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman said of Vokoun. "We didn't give up a whole lot of shots, but the shots that we gave up were quality scoring chances."
Wideman, Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer scored for the Capitals, who remained unbeaten in the United States following losses at Edmonton and Vancouver.
The Ducks went up 1-0 at 9:05 of the first period when Selanne skated behind the goal and sent a centering pass to Saku Koivu, who eluded defenseman Roman Hamrlik and beat Vokoun from the left side.
Selanne and Koivu teamed again 4½ minutes later to make it 2-0. Koivu corralled Lydman's shot off the back boards and sent it across the crease to Selanne, who scored from the left side of the net.
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Selanne made it 3-0 with a slap shot at 8:59 of the second period, but the Capitals got back into it when Ward and Wideman scored just over three minutes apart. Ward drilled a wrist shot through Hiller's pads, and Wideman scored after Hiller botched an attempt to clear a puck that was sent the length of the ice by Vokoun.
Corey Perry got a power-play goal for Anaheim at 9:13 of the third period for a 4-2 lead.
Hurricanes 4, Lightning 2
RALEIGH, N.C. — Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose had two goals each, lifting the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
Skinner, last scheap jerseyseason's NHL rookie of the year, has six goals and 12 points in 12 games this season.
Carolina improved to 1-2-1 against Southeast Division rivals. The Lightning opened the season with a 5-1 road victory over the Hurricanes on Oct. 7. Tampa Bay had won three straight against Carolina in Raleigh by a combined score of 15-5.
Carolina's Cam Ward (5-2-2) made 27 saves. Tampa Bay counterpart Dwayne Roloson (2-3-1) stopped 26 shots.
Wild 2, Red Wings 1
DETROIT — Devin Setoguchi's power-play goal 1:33 into overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 comeback win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
It was Detroit's fifth consecutive loss and Minnesota beat the Red Wings 1-0 in Minnesota on Saturday night.
Mikko Koivu also scored for Minnesota and Josh Harding stopped 36 shots.
Nicklas Lidstrom got the Red Wings' goal and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.http://marvelscape.forumotion.co.uk/t49-roundup-caps-rally-to-beat-ducks-in-ot