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Backstrom, Ovechkin step up for Capitals

by David Satriano /

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nicklas Backstrom said the Washington Capitals' top players, himself included, needed to produce offensively for them to get back into their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Islanders.

That's exactly what happened Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum.

Alex Ovechkin scored in regulation and Backstrom scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 4 to give Washington a series-tying 2-1 victory.

Game 5 in the best-of-7 series is at Verizon Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA2, MSG+, CSN-DC).

Backstrom got the Capitals even in the series when he scored 11:09 into overtime on a wrist shot from the right side that went through traffic past Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 13:06 of the first period. It was the first time the Capitals have scored first in the series. Backstrom assisted on the goal.

"I thought Nick Backstrom was All-World today," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "[Backstrom and Ovechkin] both produced. [They] have played together for a long time, but I thought [Backstrom] was the guy today."

Backstrom leads the Capitals with three goals and six points through four games in the series.

A loss would have put Washington in a 3-1 hole.

"It's a better feeling to go back home when the series is tied," Backstrom said. "It's going to be a good feeling coming home."

Ovechkin led all skaters with eight shots on goal and said he was pleased with the way the Capitals responded after a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 3.

"Obviously we did a great job handling the pressure," Ovechkin said. "I don't think they had any chances in OT. We just kept pushing.

"It's a great feeling right now. You don't get that much in a year, but right now we will enjoy it. … Now momentum is on our side."

Backstrom gave credit to the third player on the line, Joel Ward, who screened Halak on the winning goal.

"To be honest with you, it's a good job by Ward in front of the net there," Backstrom said. "Without him there, it wouldn't be a goal. I would say it's his goal."

Ward got an assist on the goal, as did Ovechkin.

"[Islanders center John Tavares] had no stick, so I knew something was coming in front," Ward said. "As [Backstrom] came up, top of the circle-ish, [he] threw a shot, found some traffic and it went in.

"Nicky is our horse, our dude. It's just good to see we won. It was a good team effort."

Follow David Satriano on Twitter: @davidsatriano

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