Backstrom, Theodore flummox Flyers

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Nicklas Backstrom shrugged off a recent slump, and Jose Theodore counted a third-period penalty shot among 41 saves in the Washington Capitals’ 4-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at Verizon Center.

Backstrom had four points, and Alexander Semin scored the winner 5:24 into the third period to help the Caps to their fifth straight win. Semin’s shot grazed Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen en route, and it fooled Philadelphia goaltender Ray Emery.

Theodore was the hero in the final period, turning aside each furious Flyers rally. Darroll Powe earned a penalty shot less than 90 seconds after Semin’s goal, but Theodore stopped his attempt to go five-hole.

Scott Hartnell buried a cross-ice one-timer from Mike Richards at 3:06 of the second period. The Caps’ penalty killers had just escaped from a nearly 90-second shift, but the Flyers scored on the ensuing rush.

Shortly after the Flyers killed off a long five-on-three, they scored nine seconds into a power play of their own. Braydon Coburn’s blast from the right point squeezed past Theodore at 14:29.

Backstrom brought his club back in the waning moments of the period. Jeff Schultz’s dump into the offensive zone was deflected into the air, but Backstrom corralled it by bouncing it twice on his stick and then letting it fall to the ice before sending a perfect pass to Alex Ovechkin as he cut toward the net.

Ovechkin put it past Emery for his 10th of the season at 16:08. It was only Backstrom’s second point since registering eight in the first three games of the season.

Backstrom leveled the score a little more than two minutes later. With the Caps on the power play, Backstrom one-timed a pass from Semin through Emery’s legs at 18:12 for his third goal of the year.

Notes — Boyd Gordon missed his fifth straight game with a back injury. Forwards Eric Fehr (upper body) and Quintin Laing were also missing.

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