Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals

Backstrom the hero, but where was Ovechkin?


After falling behind 3-0, the Washington Capitals stormed back for a thrilling 5-4 win in the nation’s capital. Things didn’t start out well for the Caps as Selanne set up a Saku Koivu for the first goal, then scored a pair of his own to help the Ducks jump out to their big lead. But some shaky defense and equally shaky goaltending proved that no lead was insurmountable on Tuesday night.

Despite Selanne scoring his fourth point of the night, Nicklas Backstrom was able to cash in the game-tying goal with only 42 seconds left in the game. As if that wasn’t enough, Backstrom topped the last minute goal with the OT game-winner halfway through the 4-on-4 overtime period. All’s well that ends well for Caps fans, right?

For most of the night, it looked like the story of game would be Teemu Selanne drinking gallons from the fountain of youth. The struggling Ducks needed a good start in Washington—and the strong first period was just what the doctor ordered. Or so we thought.

The Ducks are going to wonder what happened as they continue their brutal 7-game road trip. They jumped out to a big lead and only sloppy play allowed the Caps back in the game. The loss drops them to 1-5-1 in their last 7; a far cry from the team that was coming off a 4-game winning streak.

One of the big stories after the game may not be the guys who contributed to the game-tying goal at the end of the game, but the guy who was not on the ice. When the Caps desperately needed a goal to tie the game, they pulled their goaltender for an extra skater. Even with six guys on the ice to create offense, Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau didn’t have Alex Ovechkin on the ice.

When OT started, again Ovechkin was not on the ice to start the extra frame causing even more questions to be asked. But that game-winning goal? It was Ovechkin who kicked the puck over to his teammate. So it wasn’t all bad for the Russian sniper.

Fans should be happy with the late, comeback win. But what’s up with their captain and the head coach?

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”