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Ovechkin ties Fedorov, Capitals top Maple Leafs

by Katie Brown

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals didn't panic when they had a goal waved off with 2:39 remaining in the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Instead, they scored another one and went on to a 3-2 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center.

Forward Nicklas Backstrom tied the game at 2-2 with 0.8 seconds remaining and sent it to overtime. After he scored, the first thing he did was look up at the scoreboard to make sure it counted.

"It said 0.8, so it was perfect," Backstrom said. "We had plenty of time. We told each other we've got to keep going and we did. It paid off."

Alex Ovechkin scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Capitals the win, and tied Sergei Fedorov for most NHL goals by a Russian-born player with his 483rd in the second period.

Ovechkin would have passed Fedorov, but his goal in the final three minutes was disallowed after a coach's challenge for goalie interference.

"Our bench was really good after the goal [was disallowed]," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "They said 'OK, let's just go get another one.' That's just as simple as it was. But really, when we talk about big goals, we talk about Ovi all the time. Nick Backstrom was outstanding tonight. He played hard, key minutes, and got us the goal that sent us to overtime and got us the points."

Ovechkin tied the game 1-1 at 4:51 of the second period. He reached his milestone in 772 NHL games, 476 fewer than Fedorov.

"There's a lot of good players here that can make some big plays at big times in the game, and you saw that out of [Backstrom] there," Capitals forward T.J. Oshie said. "You can go both ways. Tonight we came out and decided we were going to take care of it."

Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 23 saves then did not allow a goal in four shootout attempts.

Forwards James van Riemsdyk and Daniel Winnik scored for the Maple Leafs (2-8-4). Goalie James Reimer made his second start in two nights and had 30 saves.

Toronto was the fifth team Washington has played in the second of back-to-back games. Washington (10-3-0) has won those five games.

"We competed hard," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "It was our fourth in six (days) and back-to-back (Toronto lost to the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime on Friday).

"[Washington is] a good team. I thought the game was even, through two (periods) for sure, obviously the 5-on-3 advantage for a whole minute I thought was a huge point in the game, and we got a good kill there.

"You would like the win, we were set up pretty good to win that and we didn't get her done, but we got points in three of the four we played this week and that was good."

Winnik scored at 2:36 of the first period for a 1-0 Toronto lead. Evgeny Kuznetsov's scoring chance for Washington was blocked by Reimer and the rebound created an odd-man rush. Winnik beat Holtby on his glove side for his second of the season. Winnik was injured later in the period and did not return.

The Capitals have allowed the first goal in four consecutive games.

Ovechkin tied it with his first power-play goal of the season. Kuznetsov's cross-ice pass got to Ovechkin, who sent a backhand past Reimer for his eighth of the season.

Ovechkin previously had one point on the power play, an assist against the New Jersey Devils in the season opener on Oct. 10. Washington has two power-play goals in its past two games after going four games without one.

Van Riemsdyk scored at 9:27 of the third period to give Toronto a 2-1 lead. He beat Holtby with a backhand on the power play, his fifth goal of the season.

"Anytime that you can play, and play behind a team that is playing this well, you get a good rhythm," Reimer said. "Good things start happening when everyone is playing well. That's the way that it is going right now, everyone is doing their part, [and] everyone is working hard, and having fun. When you work hard and compete, it's contagious, and when your teammates hop on, it's a good scenario. Right now, we are playing great hockey."

Ovechkin can pass Fedorov at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, where Fedorov played most of his career.

"Last year, that would be called a goal," Ovechkin said of his third-period goal that was disallowed. "It's something new for us. I don't know who's making the call, the referees or guys from Toronto, but it is what it is. Sometimes it's a goal, sometimes it's not. Obviously, it [stinks], but I think it's OK. You have to think about the game."

Fedorov scored 483 goals in 1,248 games with the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Capitals.

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