NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Brooks Laich tipped in Alex Ovechkin's slap shot at 1:44 of overtime, and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Capitals trailed 2-0 heading into the third, but Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischman scored to force overtime.
In the extra period, Ovechkin drew a tripping penalty on defenseman Ryan Suter. Less than a minute later, Ovechkin took a shot out near the blue line, and Laich redirected it past Anders Lindback for his third goal this season.
J.P. Dumont and Jordin Tootoo scored for Nashville.
Steve Sullivan had a chance to get a dramatic win for the Predators in the final seconds of regulation. He tried wrapping around the post only to be stopped by Michal Neuvirth, sending Nashville to its first loss.
|Tough finish to the game tonight, but all-in-all a good week for the Preds. Playing shorthanded – Martin Erat and Pekka Rinne missed all three games on the week and Matthew Lombardi missed the final two games of the week – Nashville went 2-0-1 this week to move to 3-0-1 on the season and are just one of four teams without a regulation loss in ’10-11.
Anders Lindback established himself as a solid option for the Preds, stopping 93 of 101 shots in his first tastes of NHL action; entering Training Camp the No. 2 goaltender position was a question mark – after Rinne, none of the goaltenders in Camp had ever played a minute in a regular season game. Lindback has answered the question in resounding fashion.
Cal O’Reilly is looking more-and-more comfortable at the NHL level. O’Reilly’s been an All-Star level performer at the AHL level the past two seasons; this season he’s realizing his potential at the NHL level. He, Patric Hornqvist, and Steve Sullivan have been a productive line for the Preds over the first four games of the season, scoring six goals and 12 points with 35 shots and a combined +3 plus/minus rating.
Veteran forwards J-P Dumont and David Legwand – a dangerous grouping for the Preds during last spring’s playoff run – have continued their strong play into the ’10-11 campaign. Dumont has points in all four Preds games this season, while Legwand leads all team forwards in ice time (and has been very effective matching-up defensively against the likes of Pat Kane, Jon Towes, and Alex Ovechkin).
And the Ryan Suter/Shea Weber duo along the blueline continues to play at elite status. Suter and Weber posted six points and a combined +5 rating while each averaging over 25:00 of ice time.
And as Nashville looks ahead to a four-game slate next week, the Preds should start to get some of their players back from injury. After the game tonight Coach Trotz indicated that both Erat and Rinne should be ready to go on Tuesday.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
The Capitals finally got going in the third. Semin had a power-play score at 4:33 for his second goal of the season and No. 150 in his career. Fleischmann tied it at 12:14, converting a wrister from up front.
Ovechkin, who entered with four goals and seven points, took over in overtime, powering the Capitals to their fourth consecutive victory since dropping the season opener at Atlanta.
Nashville hosted the Capitals for the first time in 19 months, but they played twice in the preseason with the Predators wrapping up with a 3-0 exhibition win in Washington.
The Predators opened up where they left off against the defending President's Trophy winners, outshooting the Capitals 18-7 in the first period. Dumont gave the the Predators the lead, beating Neuvirth from the right circle at 17:07.
Nashville extended its lead to two when Tootoo scored from the far boards with a wrister originally called a tip-in by Joel Ward. But the puck redirected off Washington defenseman Brian Fahey's left skate and past Neuvirth at 5:32 of the second, giving Tootoo his first goal this season.
NOTES: Capitals D Mike Green was scratched with an upper-body injury suffered Wednesday night. D Tom Poti also was scratched with a lower body injury. So the Capitals recalled Fahey from Hershey of the AHL. ... Sullivan did not score, shut out for his first game this season after having four goals in the first three. ... Lindback picked up his first loss filling in for Pekka Rinne, who is expected back Tuesday against Calgary after missing three games with a lower body injury.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On what they can take away from this game…
I thought we came out really well. We had a lot of structure, a lot of pace. We created a tremendous amount of chances. Obviously, we were skating and we drew some penalties. Even the power play, I thought it was working better than it has been all along. We had a lot of chances. They’re the number one penalty-killing team and we really threw it around quite well. We had some chances, but didn’t convert. It happens sometimes, and we just couldn’t get that third goal as the game went on. I thought we did pretty well against Ovechkin and we held them in check, and Semin as well. They’ve got a lot of weapons. We had a lot of chances. Their goaltender really kept in early. I thought we had four or five chances that we could have been up for. That happens; sometimes you don’t convert and it comes back to bite you a little bit.
On the play of Legwand, Tootoo and Ward against Ovechkin tonight…
I thought Leggy, Ward, and Tootoo were really good. They had a pretty tough line. That’s one of the better lines in the National Hockey League. Obviously, Ovechkin is one of those dynamic players. If you forgot how big he is; he’s 230 lbs of pure muscle, speed, and competitiveness.
Forward Joel Ward
On being upset that they lost their 2-0 lead going in to the second period…
We were up by two and, especially going into the third period, we were looking pretty good. We worked hard the last couple of days. We just figured that we want as many wins as possible and it was an unsatisfying loss most definitely.
On taking away a positive from the first loss of the season…
We have been playing well and obviously we want to stay positive regardless of who you play but we’ve got to try and take as many of points as possible regardless of who we are playing. Again, regardless of who we are playing, it’s our own building so we’ve just got to worry about ourselves.
Forward Jordin Tootoo
On getting some good bounces early in the game…
When you get the puck and you do your job, good things happen. Obviously every time you take the puck away you want to make a play on the net and get a lot of shots. We’ve been working well in practice and working on not turning the puck over at the blue line.
On Washington playing with desperation at the beginning of the third…
They definitely gave us a game for sixty minutes. Obviously, in the third period they came out and made a lot of shots and scored the game winner, but we can’t dwell on it. We’ve just got to be ready for Tuesday.
Goaltender Anders Lindback
On how he feels physically after playing three games in four days…
They told me last night that I was going to play and the trainers are doing a good job. They are keeping me hydrated and I feel really good.
On expecting a push from Washington to tie the game in the third period…
We played a really good game all the way through and I think it was just a matter of time before they turned it up and started coming at us. It was unfortunate, but I we played really well I think.