BOSTON - David Krejci scored a power-play goal off the leg of Capitals defender Shaone Morrisonn with 3:05 left in overtime Tuesday night as the Boston Bruins beat Washington 3-2 in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins got an advantage just 48 seconds into the overtime when Niklas Backstrom was sent off for hooking. Controlling the puck in the Capitals zone, Krejci sat to goalie Jose Theodore's right and tried a pass across the crease that deflected off Morrisonn's leg into the goal.
Tim Thomas stopped 34 shots for the Bruins and improved to 12-2-1 over his last 15 games. Boston has lost just four of its last 26 games in regulation - two of them to the Capitals, both in Washington.
Theodore made 25 saves for the Capitals, who remain atop the Southeast Division despite winning just three of their last eight games.
Washington got a scare when reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin crashed into the boards with 5:35 left in the second period after being hooked by Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara. Ovechkin, who hit his right shoulder and head, missed the rest of the second but returned for the third period.
The news was even better for Boston: Forward Patrice Bergeron, who missed most of last season with a concussion and then sustained another on Dec. 20 of this season, returned after missing 15 games. Bruins forward Milan Lucic and defenceman Andrew Ference also returned after missing seven and 31 games, respectively.
Mike Green gave the Capitals the lead just 2:08 into the game, on a pass from Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. But Boston tied it when Washington turned it over in its own zone and Shawn Thornton picked it up and backhanded it over Theodore's glove.
It was the first even strength goal allowed by the Capitals in more than three games - a span of 208 minutes.
Michael Nylander gave Washington a 2-1 lead with 21 seconds left in the first. But Bergeron helped Boston tie it 2-2 on a power play with 5:48 left second period when he dove to keep the puck in the zone and crossed it to Marc Savard at the right circle.
Thirteen seconds later, Ovechkin hit the boards behind the Bruins goal, then remained motionless on the ice for about 15 seconds before rolling over and rubbing his face with his glove. Although he left the ice a few minutes later, he was doubled over and flexing his right arm; he sat on the bench just a few minutes before walking off through the tunnel and slamming his gloves and helmet to the ground.
Ovechkin leads the NHL with 31 goals and is third with 59 points.
As Ovechkin returned, Capitals Semin was injured when he got a high stick from Chuck Kobasew in the neck on the opening possession of the third period. He also returned.
Notes: Washington coach Bruce Boudreau was honoured Monday at the AHL All-Star game in Worcester, Mass., and inducted into the league's Hall of Fame. ... Semin extended his points streak to seven games (4-4-8).