Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – Mikhail Grabovski and Alex Ovechkin scored in the shootout as the Washington Capitals bounced back from a three-goal deficit en route to a 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames Thursday at Verizon Center.
Ovechkin finished with two goals, Marcus Johansson issued three assists while Michal Neuvirth stopped 27 of 28 attempts in relief of Braden Holtby, who gave up three goals in just 11 Calgary attempts, as the Capitals improved to 1-1.
Karri Ramo stopped 35 of 39 shots while David Jones, Lee Stempniak, Jiri Hudler and Lance Bouma scored for the Flames (0-0-1).
The Capitals dictated the tempo of the game in its early stages but Jones, Stempniak and Hudler and Lance Bouma staked the Flames to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Jones caught defenseman Jack Hillen flat-footed along the blue line and drove past him before snapping a short-side top-shelf snap shot over Braden Holtby’s left shoulder at 5:18.
Stempniak extended Calgary’s lead to 2-0 just under five minutes later when he corralled a Mark Giordano rebound in front and slid it past Holtby.
With the Flames on the power play, Hulder gave them a three-goal lead at 16:22 with a shot from the right point.
Washington cut the deficit to one in a back-and-forth second period when rookie defenseman Connor Carrick received a pass from Johansson and scored his first NHL goal against Ramo.
The Capitals had little time to celebrate as Lance Bouma restored the Flames’ three-goal lead less than two minutes later, taking advantage of a Neuvirth miscue behind the net.
Washington responded on the power play at 11:24 when Ovechkin one-timed a pass from defenseman Mike Green past Ramo from his usual spot on the left faceoff dot for his second goal of the season.
Ovechkin scored his second of the night at 15:25 on a slap shot on a set play off the faceoff from Johansson and Backstrom.
Two successful penalty kills early in the third period kept the Capitals within striking distance, and when they finally got a chance on the power play, they took advantage with Backstrom’s game-tying goal at 14:10.
Meanwhile, the Capitals lost Hillen to an apparent right-leg injury midway through the first period when he awkwardly absorbed a check along the boards from Bouma.