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Backstrom, Ovechkin combine for eight points

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom helped bail out the Capitals on Saturday night, combining for eight points highlighted by Backstrom's winner in overtime that completed a hat trick for the first-line center.

They also had enough energy after the victory that while waiting for Coach Bruce Boudreau to finish his news conference, they shot baskets in the adjacent Washington Wizards practice gym, where the postgame news conferences took place.

That prompted Boudreau to ask if the Wizards were still playing.

When Ovechkin and Backstrom finally made it to the podium, here's what they had to say:

Ovechkin on his four-point performance: "I felt pretty good today, especially in the first period. I just wanted to get into the game, make some hits, make some shots, and I think I'm playing a lot better."

Backstrom on coming back from a 4-1 deficit: "I feel like we have that side on our team. We never give up, and the second period was kind of like embarrassing for us a little bit, but we bounced back, and it's a good thing for us. That's so important right now. We need those kind of wins, especially at home."

By Gene Wang  |  April 17, 2010; 11:45 PM ET
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Next: Goaltending questions loom for Boudreau


Belanger is at a whopping 80.6% faceoff rate!

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad about writing this but did Backstrom win a single faceoff tonight? One of the best plays in the offensive zone is to win the faceoff straight back to OV for the quick wristshot. Didn't see it once.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 18, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse


The one thing that Carlson does well though when he turns it over is that he gets back and plays solid defense to limit the scoring chance his turnover caused. Green just seems to be stunned sometimes when he turns it over and reacts a second late.

Fixing the PP is imperative if the Caps want to win this series. Luckily the Caps PK played well tonight. I know the Habs got a PP goal, but you can't do too much about shots from the blue line that bounce off of four people before going in.

The Caps really need to fix their PP. They seem to get deflated when they have a bad PP and play somewhat lackadasical after poor PPs.

Also, Green has to stop taking slap shots from the point and wrist it in. The Habs are too good of shot blockers. Or do what Carlson did on Ovie's goal. Fake the slap shot, get the guy down, then move to the side before shooting. Green needs to make a fake, move over and then quickly rip a shot. When he fakes shots he seems to hesitate for a while before deciding what to do.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Moose, you missed it. At the end of the 3rd, Backstrom won a faceoff exactly like that. He went 9 for 18 for the night.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Carlson on his 1st playoff goal - and what a goal it was! His shot on Ovie's goal was also an incredible shot. Him and Poti were the best defensive pair tonight.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse


As the old adage goes, it doesn't matter if you turn it over, it's what you do after you turn it over.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

A fan on one of the previous posts made the following suggestion. Put Carlson on the PP instead of Green.

Or at least give him a shift on PP so that Green doesn't play the full 2 minutes.

The PP needs fixing. 4 game dry spell. But at leaat we won today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 18, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see Carlson on the PP, he is very good with the puck and has a fantastic shot. I hope he is a full-time Cap next season, he has incredible talent and a bright future.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope he is a full-time Cap next season, he has incredible talent and a bright future.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:40 AM |

I count on him and Alzner being full-time next year.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Where's Erskine? certainly the toughest Caps D-man and was the best in the playoffs last year.

Posted by: festus75 | April 18, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

I would certainly think they would be. Honestly, I think Carlson is the best all-around dman on the Caps. He plays smart defense, has a good physical game, and can produce on offense. And Alzner seems to be more of a stay-at-home type, although he could stand to put on a little weight in order to fill out. But I think both will play key roles in the Caps' future.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I can understand sitting Erskine in this series - he is tough, and I love his grit, but he is slow. The Montreal forwards would blow past him.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Carlson leads the league in turnovers so far in the playoffs, but like sgm3 said, he hunts the puck down if he gives it up. He's responded amazing so far in the NHL playoffs, the experience will do wonders to bolster his confidence.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse



All series are tied 1-1.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 18, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Turnovers are one of the stats I don't trust, because they seem to be so loosely tracked, and I have never seen anything official for them. He certainly doesn't seem to turn it over nearly as much as Green or Corvo. But when he does, like you and sgm3 both said, he tries to remedy the situation - something you wouldn't expect from a guy who, one year ago, was in the minor leagues.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Hawks-Preds is still 1-0, isn't it?

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how dominant Belanger was on faceoffs so far. 29 wins on 36 faceoffs - 3 more faceoff wins than any other player, and that player (Patrice Bergeron) has 6 more faceoffs! That is somewhat disturbing, and shows how wise GMGM was in getting Belanger.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 18, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I thought Corvo played fine tonight. He didn't do anything great or spectaculor but I don't remember seeing many mistakes from him either.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 18, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Love John Carlson. The kid has tons on poise on and off the ice.

Posted by: ljo211 | April 18, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Looking at these posts it hard to tell the CAPS won. They won the game!
GEEEEE I wonder how many squares of TP the team uses per day? WHO CARES!
They won a hell of a game! Down 2-0, 4-1, 5-4.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | April 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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