NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Washington|
(Thursday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Washington 5, Calgary 4 (SO)
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice to lead a
Washington comeback and the Capitals beat the Calgary Flames, 5-4, in a
shootout Thursday night after trailing by three goals twice in their home
Ovechkin and Mikhail Grabovski were both successful in the shootout and Michal
Neuvirth, who replaced Braden Holtby in the first period after the Washington
starting netminder gave up three goals, stopped two Calgary tries in the
"We talked about how we had 40 minutes to try to get it back," said Capitals
coach Adam Oates. "We talked about a couple things we did wrong in the first
period and not to give them another one. We wanted our D [defense] to be more
involved, but not do crazy pinches and give them a free goal -- just stay
focused and get it one at a time."
Nicklas Backstrom had the tying power-play goal with 5:50 left in regulation
for the Capitals, who bounced back after losing 6-4 in Chicago on Tuesday.
The Flames lost their season opener for the fourth straight year despite goals
from David Jones, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Hudler in the first 16:22 of the game
that chased Holtby.
"Very happy with the effort, obviously disappointed with the result," said
Flames coach Bob Hartley. "Just don't be glad to be in the NHL, when you have
a 3-0 lead, you have to find a way to keep it."
Washington defenseman Connor Carrick, 19, scored his first NHL goal, Ovechkin
also had an assist and Neuvirth made 27 saves.
Karri Ramo, in his first regular-season NHL game since April 11, 2009, gave
up four goals on 39 shots for the Flames, who blew leads of 3-0 and 4-1. Lance
Bouma also scored in the loss, while Mark Giordano had two assists.
Ovechkin and Grabovski both beat Ramo with dekes to their backhand in the
shootout, with Neuvirth stopping Sven Baertschi and Hudler.
Backstrom's tying goal came after Calgary's T.J. Galiardi was called off for
goaltender interference after knocking Neuvirth in the mask with his glove.
Ovechkin helped free the puck in the slot and Backstrom ended up with it on
the low right side for a wrister that made it 4-4.
The Flames had several chances in a flurry as the final seconds of regulation
ticked off, but Neuvirth kept them out of the net. Both goaltenders then made
three saves in overtime.
Ovechkin's first goal, a slap shot from the left side, came on a power play at
11:24 of the second period and cut Calgary's lead to 4-2.
Three minutes later, he slipped a seeing-eye wrister through everyone after
the puck came back to him on a faceoff in the right circle, pulling the Caps
Earlier, Jones beat Holtby 5:18 into the game with a sharp-angle shot from the
low right side. Stempniak scored at 10:13 and Hudler's power-play goal at
16:22 made it 3-0 Calgary.
Carrick, off for hooking early in the second period, scored on a breakaway
after coming out of the penalty box with a deke to the right side. Bouma
restored Calgary's three-goal lead just 1:35 later, however.
Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen had to be helped off the ice after being hit
against the boards by Bouma in the first period and didn't return. Hillen was
favoring his right leg after the leg-to-leg check, and the team said he had a
lower body injury. Bouma wasn't penalized for the hit, but he and Caps winger
Tom Wilson drew five-minute fighting majors after the play ... The Caps will
play at Dallas on Saturday before starting a five-game homestand ... The
Flames remain on the road to play Columbus on Friday. Their home opener is
Sunday against Vancouver ... Ramo started Calgary's opener after 2006 Vezina
winner Miikka Kiprusoff retired last month with one season left on his
10/04 01:20:53 ET