Ovechkin, a two-time MVP who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second period to tie the game for the Capitals, the third-seeded team in the Eastern Conference.
Carl Hagelin had put sixth-seeded New York ahead 1-0 in the first period — the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Washington.
We don't have any excuses tonight. Excuses are for losers. We've played with five defensemen before and it didn't affect us. We just had a bad second period and it cost us the game. We have to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.
— Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's play with the loss of defenseman Johnny Boychuk