Nicklas Backstrom scored the shootout winner, and goalie Pheonix Copley recorded his first career NHL victory as the visiting Washington Capitals claimed a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon.
Backstrom converted in the fourth round of the shootout for the difference-maker, while Copley made 27 saves through overtime and stopped three of four players he faced in the showdown.
Calgary’s Sean Monahan and Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov traded goals in the second round of the shootout.
Washington’s Jakub Vrana kicked off the see-saw affair when he opened the scoring at 9:28 of the first period. A turnover at the Calgary blueline led to a two-on-none rush the other way, and Vrana made no mistake.
T.J. Oshie’s power-play goal at 14:27 of the opening frame gave Washington a 2-0 edge. After Alex Ovechkin was denied from his trademark position, Oshie pounced on a rebound for the tally.
The Flames desperately needed a jolt and received it 15 seconds later from an unlikely source: Travis Hamonic. Hamonic drove to the net and recorded his first goal in 71 games when Johnny Gaudreau’s centering pass banked off the defenseman’s foot and into the goal.
Elias Lindholm then evened the count with a power-play goal at 16:54 of the high-scoring first period. Lindholm took a cross-ice pass from Gaudreau before ripping a shot into the net for his seventh goal of the season. The two helpers in the game give Gaudreau 200 assists in his career.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen restored the Washington lead at 17:03 of the second period. Niskanen sent a long wrist shot from the right point that went into the top shelf with Dmitrij Jaskin providing the screen.
Just as it appeared the Flames would fall in regulation, Matthew Tkachuk again tied the game. With the goalie pulled and 1:27 remaining in regulation, Tkachuk deflected Rasmus Andersson’s point shot. The assist was Andersson’s first NHL point.
Kuznetsov collected a pair of assists in the win, while Calgary captain Mark Giordano also had two assists.
Flames goalie Mike Smith stopped 24 shots through overtime.
—Field Level Media