Game-Win­ner!

Back­strom OT goal lifts Cap­i­tals

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Nick­las Back­strom scored his sec­ond goal of the game 11:53 into over­time to give the Washington Cap­i­tals a 4-3 vic­tory over the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets on Satur­day and a 3-2 lead in the first-round play­off se­ries.

Braden Holtby made 16 of his 39 saves in the third pe­riod to help Washington get to over­time. Four of five games be­tween the teams have gone past reg­u­la­tion mak­ing fa­tigue a fac­tor for Game 6 Mon­day night in Colum­bus.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie scored along with Back­strom in reg­u­la­tion for the Cap­i­tals, who be­came the first home team this se­ries to win a home game. Holtby has been in net for Washington’s three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries after re­plac­ing Philipp Grubauer in Game 2, stop­ping 102 of 108 shots to turn the tide.

Fel­low Vez­ina Tro­phy-win­ning goal­tender Sergei Bo­brovsky al­lowed a soft goal to Kuznetsov as one of his four on 29 shots in the loss. Matt Calvert scored short­handed and on a break­away and Oliver Bjork­strand had a de­flec­tion goal for Colum­bus.

Holtby said Fri­day ref­er­ees have done a good job in the play­offs call­ing it like the reg­u­lar sea­son, and that trend con­tin­ued in abun­dance in Game 5. An early rough­ing call on Washington’s Lars Eller yielded noth­ing, and a slash by Colum­bus’ Thomas Vanek ac­tu­ally led to a short­handed goal by Calvert 10:08 into the first pe­riod.

Back­strom tied the score at 1 less than three min­utes later, bank­ing the puck off Blue Jack­ets de­fense­man David Savard’s left skate and watch­ing it trickle down Bo­brovsky’s back and in for his first goal of the play­offs.

The pa­rade to the penalty box con­tin­ued in the sec­ond pe­riod of a sloppy, mis­take-filled game. A bad line change by the Blue Jack­ets gave the Cap­i­tals a 3-on1 rush that was eas­ier than any power play, with Kuznetsov go­ing five-hole on Bo­brovsky 3:21 into the sec­ond.

Just 84 sec­onds later, a turnover by Oshie sprung Calvert on his high­light-reel break­away dur­ing which he whiffed on a shot be­fore spin­ning, scor­ing and fol­low­ing the puck into the net. Rid­ing a streak of dou­bledigit penal­ties killed, the Cap­i­tals cashed in on their fourth power play of the game 16:42 into the sec­ond when Oshie tipped John Carl­son’s point shot past Bo­brovsky.

Carl­son’s pri­mar y as­sist gave the pend­ing un­re­stricted free agent de­fense­man eight points in the se­ries.

A failed clear by the Cap­i­tals al­lowed the Blue Jack­ets to tie the score again 2:30 into the third pe­riod when Bjork­strand got the tip of his blade on Ian Cole’s point shot to de­flect the puck be­tween Holtby and the post. Holtby made sev­eral big saves in the third pe­riod to keep the game go­ing, in­clud­ing a stop on Pierre-Luc Dubois on a re­bound and again as the 19-year-old cen­ter tried to bat the puck out of the air.

NOTES: Just 26 of the first 40 min­utes were played at 5-on-5 . ... Thir­teen of the Cap­i­tals’ past 24 play­off games have been de­cided in over­time . ... Blue Jack­ets C Alexan­der Wennberg re­turned after miss­ing Games 2, 3 and 4 fol­low­ing a hit to the head from Tom Wil­son. He re­placed Sonny Milano in the lineup . ... The Cap­i­tals made no changes after win­ning back-to-back games in Colum­bus, keep­ing Chan­dler Stephen­son on the sec­ond line in the ab­sence of An­dre Bu­rakovsky, who’s out for at least the re­main­der of the se­ries with an up­per-body in­jury. Light­ning 3, Devils 1 TAMPA, FLA. (AP) — Nikita Kucherov scored his 27th ca­reer post­sea­son goal, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26 shots and Tampa Bay beat New Jersey to end the first-round se­ries in five games.

The 19-year-old Mikhail Ser­gachev be­came the youngest player in Light­ning his­tory to score a play­off goal and Ryan Cal­la­han, back in the lineup after miss­ing the pre­vi­ous two games with an up­per-body in­jury, sealed it with an empty-net­ter with 1.7 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Tampa Bay ad­vanced to a sec­ond-round se­ries against the Bos­ton-Toronto win­ner.

AP PHOTO

Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets cen­ter Pierre-Luc Dubois tries to get the puck past Washington Cap­i­tals goal­tender Braden Holtby dur­ing the third pe­riod in Game 5 of an NHL first-round hockey play­off se­ries, Satur­day in Washington.

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