- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

PHILADELPHIA - His precocious friends got the Washington Capitals back in the game, then Alex Ovechkin took it from there.

Ovechkin netted a pair of goals in the third period tonight, and the Caps rallied from a two-goal deficit to force Game 7 in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Washington will try to complete the improbable comeback from down three games to one in the series tomorrow night at Verizon Center.

With the score knotted at two, Ovechkin blocked a wrist shot from Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, then Viktor Kozlov sprung him on a breakaway. He skated in and roofed a shot into the top right corner after a slight shoulder fake froze Flyers goaltender Martin Biron 2:46 into the final period.

The Caps had one power-play chance with a 3-2 lead and didn’t convert, but they made good on the second one. Brooks Laich picked up the puck along the right wall and sent it across the ice for a blistering one-timer from Ovechkin and a 4-2 lead.

For the fourth time in this series, the Caps fell behind by two goals. For the first time since Game 1, Washington recovered.

Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin connected on a beautiful play to cut the lead in half. Semin took a pass from Brooks Laich at the blue line and pinballed the puck in a dizzying display of passing from Semin to Backstrom to Semin and back to Backstrom before he snapped a shot past Biron at 9:34 of the second period.

The game turned in the second half of the period, as the Caps became the aggressors and pinned the Flyers in their own end for long stretches. Huet made a big save on R.J. Umberger on a 2-on-1 in the middle of Washington’s strong stretch to keep the game at 2-1 before Semin tied the game.

After a flurry of heavy pressure, Biron didn’t handle John Erskine’s slap shot from the left point cleanly, and Semin swooped in across the crease to secure the rebound and flip it past the falling goaltender.

Both Semin and Backstrom notched goals in three straight games after not having one in the first three contests.

With Matt Bradley in the penalty box for interference in the neutral zone, the Flyers grabbed the lead early. Kimmo Timonen’s slap shot from the left point was wide, but the puck caromed off the boards to Mike Richards on the other side of the net, and he put it in before Washington goalie Cristobal Huet could slide over at 3:49.

The Caps had a pair of power-play chances in the period but couldn’t solve Biron in 12 tries. The best shot came from Ovechkin on a one-timer in front.

Semin was caught retaliating late in the first period, and Danny Briere gave the Flyers a two-goal lead 1:18 into the second. With Umberger providing a screen, Briere took a pass inside the left faceoff circle from Vinny Prospal and wristed a shot over Huet’s left shoulder.

But Huet was there to make the lead stand up with 33 saves.

The Caps will try to comeback from down 3-1 in a series for the second time in franchise history. The first time was also against these Flyers. Dale Hunter scored the winner in overtime of Game 7 in 1988.

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