Capitals regulate Islanders 4-3 in Game 2
Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists, and Alex Ovechkin scored once, leading the Washington Capitals and fill- in goalie Philipp Grubauer past the New York Islanders 4-3 Friday to level their first-round playoff series at one game each.
After Washington’s two stars — Ovechkin led the NHL in goals, Backstrom was No. 1 in assists — were reunited on the top line, both scored to erase a 3-1 deficit. Jason Chimera netted the go-ahead goal with 12 1/2 minutes left.
It was the first time the Capitals had led in the series, which moves to New York for Game 3 on Sunday.
Grubauer was called up from the minor leagues Friday to replace starting goalie Braden Holtby, who was ill. Grubauer, a 23-year-old from Germany, made 18 saves.
In other playoff games, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime, the Nashville Predators downed the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1. The teams will play Game 3 on Sunday.
Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk scored from a spin-around shot 3:40 into overtime to lead Montreal past the Ottawa Senators and giving the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Max Pacioretty, back from a concussion that sidelined him in Game 1, and P.K. Subban scored in regulation for the Canadiens, while David Desharnais picked up an assist on each.
Clarke MacArthur and Patrick Wiercioch scored for the Senators, and Mark Stone added two assists.
Carey Price stopped 29 shots for Montreal, while Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond made 38 saves.
In Nashville, Tennessee, Craig Smith scored the first two playoff goals of his career and added an assist, as the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 to level the Western Conference openinground playoff series at a game each.
The Predators won for the first time since clinching a postseason berth on March 28. Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for the win and even had an assist.
Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist, and Colin Wilson, Roman Josi and Mike Santorelli each scored a goal. Nashville lost captain Shea Weber to a lower-body injury nearly midway through the second period.
Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago, which hosts Game 3.
Eddie Lack made 22 saves as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 to level the first-round playoff series at a game each.
Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins, Ronalds Kenins and Radim Vrbata — into an empty net — scored for the Canucks, who snapped a seven-game losing streak at home in the playoffs dating to the 2011 Stanley Cup final.
Kris Russell scored late in the third period for the Flames to end Lack’s shutout bid.
The physical game was capped by a full brawl late in the third with fights erupting all over the ice deep in the Vancouver zone after a whistle.
Nashville Predators center Craig Smith #15 celebrates after scoring his second goal of the night against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford #50, during the third period of Game 2 of an NHL Western Conference hockey playoff series on Friday, April 17.