Or­pik’s OT goal pushes Caps past Hur­ri­canes

Wash­ing­ton takes 2-0 se­ries lead

The Buffalo News - - NHL -

De­fense­man Brooks Or­pik scored 1:48 into sud­den-death over­time to give the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals a 4-3 vic­tory over the vis­it­ing Carolina Hur­ri­canes in Game 2 of an East­ern Con­fer­ence first-round se­ries Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The Cap­i­tals have a 2-0 lead in this se­ries, which shifts to Carolina for the next two games, start­ing Mon­day.

Or­pik’s game-win­ner was just his fourth goal in 151 NHL play­off games. His tim­ing was per­fect on Satur­day as Evgeny Kuznetsov found him from be­hind the cage com­ing off the bench, and Or­pik got an open­ing be­cause the Carolina player de­fend­ing him didn’t have a stick. He then fired a shot past goalie Petr Mrazek (29 saves).

Wash­ing­ton jumped out to an early lead, just like in Game 1, with a pair of first-pe­riod goals.

Nick­las Back­strom took a per­fect feed from Alex Ovechkin and eas­ily beat Mrazek from the doorstep 3:37 into the game for a 1-0 lead.

The Cap­i­tals then made it 2-0 mid­way through the pe­riod when T.J. Oshie raced down the right side, quickly cut into the mid­dle and fired a back­han­der past Mrazek.

But that goal seemed to awaken Carolina as the Hur­ri­canes put the pres­sure on for the rest of the pe­riod. That re­sulted in a Lu­cas Wall­mart goal with 4:06 left in the first.

Wash­ing­ton chal­lenged the play as goalie Braden Holtby (25 saves) was hit and spun around, but the goal stood and the Hur­ri­canes had cut the lead in half.

Both teams had sev­eral chances in the sec­ond pe­riod – Wash­ing­ton with a power play of more than four min­utes, while the Hur­ri­canes had a two-man ad­van­tage for over a minute – but noth­ing came of ei­ther op­por­tu­nity.

Fi­nally, Se­bas­tian Aho tied the game with 3:11 left in the pe­riod, scor­ing from an odd an­gle just to Holtby’s right.

Wash­ing­ton took a 3-2 lead when Tom Wilson took an Ovechkin pass and scored 8:55 into the third pe­riod. But the Cap­i­tals couldn’t hold it as Jor­dan Staal scored with five min­utes left for a game-ty­ing pow­er­play goal that tied the game at 3 and forced over­time.

Bruins blast Leafs

Brad Marc­hand had a goal and an as­sist, and the Boston Bruins de­feated the vis­it­ing Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, to even the best-of-seven, firstround play­off se­ries at 1-1.

Char­lie Coyle, Dan­ton Heinen and Pa­trice Berg­eron also scored for the Bruins.

Nazem Kadri scored for the Maple Leafs in the third pe­riod but slightly more than three min­utes later was given a game mis­con­duct and a cross-check­ing penalty.

Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots in the Boston goal. Fred­erik An­der­sen made 37 saves, sev­eral spec­tac­u­lar, for the Maple Leafs.

The se­ries shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Mon­day.

Preda­tors even se­ries

Craig Smith scored at 5:00 of over­time in Game 2 as the Nashville Preda­tors de­feated the vis­it­ing Dal­las Stars, 2-1, in Nashville.

Rocco Grimaldi also scored for the Preda­tors, who evened the firstround West­ern Con­fer­ence play­off se­ries at a game apiece. Game 3 is sched­uled for Mon­day night in Dal­las. Goal­tender Pekka Rinne made 22 saves.

Jamie Benn scored the lone goal for the Stars, who won 3-2 in Game 1 and were look­ing to re­turn home with a two-game edge.

Kucherov out for Game 3

Tampa Bay Light­ning star for­ward Nikita Kucherov has been sus­pended for Sun­day’s Game 3 of the first round of the Stan­ley Cup Play­offs for board­ing Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets de­fense­man Markus Nu­ti­vaara dur­ing Game 2 Fri­day night.

The NHL’s Depart­ment of Player Safety made the an­nounce­ment Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Getty Im­ages

Brooks Or­pik of the Cap­i­tals cel­e­brates his game win­ning over­time goal with cap­tain Alex Ovechkin Satur­day.

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