- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom raced up the ice and scored with 1:50 left in overtime Sunday and the Washington Capitals completed a remarkable comeback without star Alex Ovechkin to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.

Backstrom skated up the side, went around Chicago’s Brent Seabrook in the left circle and beat Antti Niemi for his second goal of the game.

Ovechkin, the two-time MVP and the league’s leading scorer this season, got a game misconduct in the first period for knocking Chicago’s Brian Campbell into the boards.

Washington fell behind 3-0 after two periods but rallied with a quick three-goal spurt in the final period to tie the game, showing why it has the NHL’s top record and also is the highest scoring team in the league.

Jonathan Toews had two goals and John Madden scored once for the Blackhawks, who had their second crushing defeat in as many days. They lost 3-2 in Philadelphia on Saturday, giving up two goals in the final two minutes, including the game winner with two seconds to go.

Down 3-0 in the third Sunday without their top player and with Niemi playing well, the Capitals dominated play.

Brooks Laich scored on a power play at 5:29 to make it 3-1. A couple of seconds after the Caps’ 5-on-3 power play had elapsed, Backstrom converted a rebound at 7:32. Thirteen seconds later, Eric Fehr scored from just outside the crease, tying the game, silencing the crowd at the United Center and forcing Chicago to take a timeout.

The Capitals had an 11-1 shots-on-goal advantage in the third period.

Ovechkin raced up the ice and drove Campbell into the boards from behind at 7:44 of the first.

Campbell stayed down for several minutes before he was able to leave the ice with a trainer at his side and then headed to the locker room. He did not return to the game.

Ovechkin went to the penalty box after being assessed a five-minute boarding penalty and then into the locker room after being given a game misconduct.

Ovechkin was given two game misconducts earlier this season, the first for a shoulder check and the second one for a kneeing incident that eventually led to a two-game suspension.

The Blackhawks were able to capitalize on the penalty after Ovechkin’s hit. They had a 5-on-3 power play after a second penalty on Alexander Semin, who crashed into Niemi at the end of a breakaway.

Toews scored for the second time in the first period, poking in a rebound from in front after a shot from Patrick Sharp. That made it 2-0.

Madden scored on a redirect on a long pass from Duncan Keith to make it 3-0 in the second.

With the teams playing 4-on-4, Toews took a nice crossing pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson for the first score seven minutes into the game.

Niemi, in a battle with Cristobal Huet to determine the team’s No. 1 goalie before the playoffs, made 26 saves. Jose Theodore had 20.

Notes: Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa, who scored his 20th goal and had his 20th assist in Saturday’s loss at Philadelphia, was scratched with an upper body injury. D Kim Johnsson was out with the same announced injury. … The Capitals reached 100 points in their 69th game.

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