Capitals 5, Flames 4

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Mikhail Grabovski scored the shootout winner to complete a furious comeback by the Washington Capitals in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and Nicklas Backstrom sent the game into overtime with his first goal of the season with 5:50 remaining in regulation.
For the Caps, it was their first win of the season. The Flames picked up a point in their season opener, but felt the sting of blowing leads of 3-0 and 4-1.
Grabovski, who recorded a hat trick in the Caps' season opener, started the shootout with a backhander over Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo. Ovechkin followed with his own shootout goal and when Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped Jiri Hudler, Washington had its first victory.
Backstrom sent the game into overtime when he scored the Capitals' second power-play goal of the game with 5:50 remaining in regulation to tie the score 4-4.
The Caps led the NHL in power-play percentage last season and the Flames sent them on the man-advantage for the third time in the game when left wing T.J. Galiardi was called for goalie interference after making contact with Neuvirth.
On Backstrom's goal, Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski fished a loose puck from under Flames winger Curtis Glencross and found Backstorm at the top of the right circle, where he snapped a shot through defenseman Mark Giordano and Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo.
Backstrom's tally completed a three-goal comeback for the Capitals.
The Flames got the offensive fireworks started early, getting goals from David Jones, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Hudler on their first 11 shots to chase Capitals starting goalie Braden Holtby 16:22 into the contest.
Calgary had a chance to make it 4-0 when Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick went to the box for hooking early in the second period. But after a strong penalty kill by Washington, Marcus Johansson found Carrick leaving the penalty box and the 19-year-old defenseman deked his way around Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo for his first NHL goal.
The Flames restored their three-goal lead when Neuvirth mishandled the puck behind his net, allowing Brian McGrattan to find Lance Bouma for his second career goal.
That's when Ovechkin and the Caps began their comeback.
A high-sticking penalty to Jones put the Capitals' vaunted power play on the ice and Ovechkin wasted little time making the Flames pay, drilling a Mike Green pass off the stick of Flames captain Mark Giordano and past Ramo, drawing the Capitals to within 4-2 with 9:36 remaining in the second period.
Four minutes later Ovechkin was celebrating again, this time after roofing a shot over Ramo for his second goal of the game and third of the season.
The Flames had several opportunities to extend the lead in the third period, but wasted three power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 48 seconds.
NOTES: Capitals D Jack Hillen left the game 8:07 into the first period after Flames LW Lance Bouma drilled him with a big check into the boards. Hillen was helped off the ice and did not return. ... Before the game, the Flames placed C Mike Cammalleri (hand) on injured reserve. Calgary rookie C Sean Monahan, selected sixth overall in the 2013 draft, made his NHL debut. ... The Caps and Flames faced each other for the first time since Jan. 3, 2012. Only five of the current Flames played in that game. Capitals top-line C Backtrom suffered a concussion in that game on an open-ice hit from former Flames F Rene Bourque. ... Before the game, the Capitals claimed D Alex Urbom off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. To make room for him, Washington sent rookie C Michael Latta to the AHL Hershey Bears. ... The Capitals return to action Saturday night in Dallas when they take on the Stars. The Flames visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday before returning to Calgary for their home opener Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.

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