Wednesday March 6, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Eric Fehr scored 37 seconds into overtime Tuesday night, and the Washington Capitals rallied from a three-goal, first-period deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a thriller reminiscent of the teams’ seven-game playoff series a year ago.

Pinched by two defenders, Fehr was falling forward as he got off the shot that hit the upper right post and went in, giving the Capitals their seventh win in 10 games as they attempt to climb out of the lower echelons of the NHL standings.

Fehr also got the assist on the game-tying goal with 6:05 to play in regulation, when he worked his way through a crowd into the offensive zone and -- with four Bruins around him -- managed to get the puck ahead to Wojtek Wolski for the backhanded stroke past Tuukka Rask.

Mike Ribeiro also scored, Tomas Kundratek got his first NHL goal, Steve Olesky earned his first NHL assist, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves in his 10th consecutive start for Washington in the teams’ first meeting since the Bruins were eliminated in seven one-goal games by the Capitals in the first round of the 2012 postseason, when Boston was defending its 2011 Stanley Cup title.

A short-handed penalty shot by Brad Marchand, an even-strength goal by Zdeno Chara and a power-play tally from Dougie Hamilton gave Boston a 3-0 lead in the first period. Rask made 22 saves for the Bruins, who have lost two straight following a six-game winning streak.

Alex Ovechkin had an especially eventful night for the Capitals, with plays good and bad.


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He committed three penalties -- including two that led to Bruins goals -- but he set up a Capitals goal and was active on the defensive end throughout. He crashed into the net three times in the third period, once while drawing a hooking penalty.

Marchand’s unusual goal came after Capitals defenseman John Carlson couldn’t handle a pass near the blue line on the power play. The Bruins center pounced on the puck in the neutral zone and had his breakaway attempt thwarted when he was hooked by Ovechkin. The official called for a penalty shot, and Marchand converted for his 12th goal of the season.

Chara made it 2-0 with a painful assist from David Krejci, who was hit in the groin area by a shot from Milan Lucic. Chara put the loose puck into the net, while Krejci fell to his knees.

With Ovechkin in the penalty box for interference, Hamilton gave the Bruins a three-goal lead at the first intermission.

But the Capitals responded with two goals in the second period. Ovechkin knocked down a drive from Olesky and fed the puck to Ribeiro for a goal, and a faceoff win in the Bruins’ zone -- Nicklas Backstrom beating Chris Kelly, who wins more than 60 percent of the time -- set up Kundratek to make it a one-goal game.

Islanders 6, Canadiens 3

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Radek Martinek scored the tiebreaking goal eight minutes into the third period and the New York Islanders handed Montreal its first regulation loss in nearly a month with a 6-3 victory Tuesday night.

Martinek’s shot from the left point on a pass from Kyle Okposo eluded goaltender Carey Price at 7:56. It was the first goal of the season for Martinek, who hadn’t scored since Oct. 12, 2011, while with Columbus. John Tavares scored his team-leading 14th goal with 1:07 left before Colin McDonald closed the scoring with an empty-netter.

Brian Gionta’s power-play goal at 6:07 of the third -- the 20,000th goal for the Canadiens since the NHL was formed in 1917 -- tied the game at 3.

Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban made it 3-2 with a blast from the point with 3:11 to go in the second, his fifth of the season, after Matt Martin and Michael Grabner scored 48 seconds apart midway through the second to put the Islanders ahead 3-1.

It was the second straight home win for the Islanders, who won for only the fourth time in 13 games at Nassau Coliseum.

Montreal hadn’t lost in regulation since a 6-0 defeat at home against Toronto on Feb. 9. The Canadiens surged to the top of the Eastern Conference with an 8-0-3 record since that lopsided defeat.

Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves for the Islanders. The 37-year-old goaltender, who improved to 10-7-2, has started all but four games this season.

Martin scored at 12:10 of the second, knocking in a pass from Brad Boyes for his second of the season with Montreal’s Lars Eller serving a tripping penalty. Grabner added his ninth of the season at 12:58 after a shot by defenseman Thomas Hickey deflected to him in front of Price.

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring at 5:21 of the first with his 10th of the season. Plekanec took a pass from Alex Galchenyuk in the left corner after Michael Ryder outmuscled Martinek in the right corner.

Matt Moulson tied it at 1:23 of the second off a pass from defenseman Mark Streit for his 11th of the season.

The Islanders have won three straight and six of their last eight games against Montreal, including 4-3 in overtime at Montreal on Feb. 21. The teams meet again at Nassau Coliseum on March 21.

It was the fifth game of a seven-game homestand for the Islanders. They will host the Rangers on Thursday before completing the homestand Saturday against Washington.

Lightning 5, Devils 2

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nate Thompson scored twice and Martin St. Louis and rookie Alexander Killorn each had a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Cory Conacher and Vincent Lecavalier each had two assists as the Lightning won for only the second time in eight games and extended the Devils’ winless streak to six games (0-5-1).

Anders Lindback had 25 saves for the Lightning, surrendering late goals to Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias.

New Jersey’s slide has taken place with Johan Hedberg in goal for the injured Martin Brodeur (back). The crowd at the Prudential Center cheered wildly after coach Peter DeBoer sent Keith Kinkaid out for his first NHL action after Tampa Bay opened a 3-0 lead.

The only good thing the Devils did was end Steven Stamkos’ 10-game point streak. He had scored goals in eight of his last nine games, and only a pad save by Kinkaid on a breakaway early in the third period prevented the streak from continuing. Thompson put the Lightning ahead for good with 2:56 left in the first period. Hedberg played the puck from behind his own net and Lightning rookie Ondrej Palat got the puck in the corner, found Conacher in the left circle. The rookie found Thompson alone in from for a shot that Hedberg never had a chance to stop.

Tampa Bay put the game away in the second period on the goals by St. Louis and Killorn.

St. Louis’ sixth tally of the season came on a 3-on-2 play that Killorn started in his own end. He made a pass to Lecavalier coming out of the Lightning’s own zone, took a return pass in New Jersey’s zone and then found St. Louis alone at the left side of the net for a tap-in at 5:33.

Killorn, who has four goals and four assists in 13 games since being called up, made a great play on the third goal. He skated out from behind the Devils’ net, moved between the circles and beat Hedberg between the pads with Hedberg distracted by Lecavalier and St. Louis standing on either side of him.

Thompson upped the margin to 4-0 with a snap shot from in close after another nice set up by Conacher.

Henrique ended Lindback’s bid for his first shutout of the season with a short-handed goal with 6:16 to play. Elias scored on a power play with 4:45 to go and Andrei Loktionov had a shot roll along the goal line with 2:00 to go. Lindback created a little excitement with 1:27 firing a shot at an empty net just wide.

B.J. Crombeen iced the game seconds later with an empty-net goal.

NOTES: Tough guys Krysofer Barch of the Devils and Pierre-Cedric Labrie did more dancing than fighting in their first-period tussle. Both still got 5 for fighting. ... Palat has two assists in two games since being called up from Syracuse on Monday. ... This was the second of three games between the teams this season. The final one will be in Florida on March 29. ... The Devils have given up the first goal in seven consecutive games. ... Killorn has points in six of the last 10 games.