Backstrom levels play-offs for Caps

Nicklas Backstrom's overtime goal in the second extra period gave the Washington Capitals a tough 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins, tying their first round play-off series at 1-1.


Ottawa, St Louis and Chicago also got series-evening victories.

The Senators needed overtime to defeat the New York Rangers 3-2, the Blues blanked San Jose 3-0 and the Blackhawks outlasted the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.

At Boston, Backstrom grabbed a bobbling puck in the left circle and fired a shot past Bruins netminder Tim Thomas two minutes and 56 seconds into the second overtime session to stun the Stanley Cup champions on their home ice.

"It feels good," Backstrom said. "But I don't really care who scores in the playoffs. We're a team and we work together and we do everything together."

Capitals coach Dale Hunter tweaked his lines, swapping out Jason Chimera to unite Marcus Johansson with Backstrom and Alexander Semin.

The move paid off handsomely when Johansson found an open Backstom for the winning shot.

Washington, who lost the best-of-seven series opener 1-0 in OT on Thursday, struck first in Game Two, scoring on Troy Brouwer's goal with 2:03 left in the second period after Boston's Greg Zanon had blocked a shot by Alex Ovechkin.

Boston equalised 12:13 into the third on Benoit Pouliot's goal to ensure another tight finish between the Eastern Conference teams.

Young Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 43 shots, while Thomas made 37 saves for Boston.

The series moves to Washington for Game Three on Monday.

At Glendale, Arizona, Brian Bickell's second goal of the game, this one in overtime, produced the game-winner. Bickell also scored in the first period.

Chicago, down 3-2 after two periods, got the equaliser with just six seconds left in regulation when Patrick Sharp tipped in a Brent Seabrook shot. The series resumes in Chicago on Tuesday.

At New York, Chris Neil scored 1:17 into overtime to secure the win for Ottawa in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals.

The Senators had tied the score with less than five minutes left in regulation on Nick Fogligno's goal. Game Three is in Ottawa on Monday.

At St. Louis, San Jose goaltender Marc-Edouard Vlasic tapped the puck into his own net for the Blues' opening score with the game less than two minutes old.

St. Louis' Vladimir Sobotka received credit for the goal.

David Backes and Andy McDonald also had goals in a Game Two that produced 132 minutes of penalties, including 15 penalties at the final whistle as fights broke out.

St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Halak suffered an undisclosed lower body injury in the second period.

The teams play again on Monday in San Jose, California.

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