Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicklas Backstrom scored at 11:09 of overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, evening this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at two games apiece.
On the game-winning goal, Backstrom collected the puck after a faceoff in the New York zone and protected it from Game 3 hero John Tavares along the right-wing boards as he made his way to the point. Tavares, who scored 15 seconds into overtime in the Islanders' 2-1 win on Sunday, lost his stick and couldn't block Backstrom's long-range shot that beat Jaroslav Halak.
Alex Ovechkin had a first-period goal for the Capitals, who got 36 saves from Braden Holtby.
Halak made 28 saves, including a right pad stop earlier in overtime on Jason Chimera as he skated in alone.
This series returns to America's capital for Game 5 on Thursday.
"It's a better feeling to go back (home) with the series tied," said Backstrom, who scored in a third straight game.
The Capitals opened the scoring for the first time in this series. Ovechkin tipped John Carlson's shot from the blueline following a faceoff win past Halak 13:06 into the game.
New York tied it with 12.6 seconds left in the first period when Casey Cizikas buried the rebound of a Cal Clutterbuck shot.
The Capitals survived a parade to the penalty box in the first half of the second period.
Tom Wilson was whistled for two infractions a little over two minutes apart. He kneed Josh Bailey, taking the Islanders forward out after he pulled up inside the Washington zone, and received a charging minor for leveling Lubomir Visnovsky with a shoulder-to-head hit behind the New York net.
"Maybe I owe a couple guys dinner," Wilson said, referencing the penalty killers.
Visnovsky, meanwhile, skated off on his own power with a towel to his face and didn't return.
Mike Green then fired the puck over the glass as Clutterbuck skated in to deliver a check, resulting in a delay-of-game penalty, but the Islanders failed again to convert on the man advantage.
"We didn't generate a whole lot. We had, I think, maybe one or two chances. You look back at the game, that's the turning point for me," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
The Capitals got their lone power play in the third period and Halak made a sprawling save on Marcus Johansson's deflection from the doorstep at the 8:16 mark.
Less than 30 seconds later, Clutterbuck hit the junction of the crossbar and right post on a shorthanded 2-on-1 break.
Backstrom scored his third career playoff overtime goal to grab sole possession of first place in Capitals history ... Washington had lost six straight road playoff games ... The Capitals have won each of their last three Game 4s when trailing 2-1 in a series ... The Islanders are now 0-for-10 on the power play in this series ... Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik left late in the first period with a facial cut but returned to the game, only to be the target of a home fan's beer toss from the stands after the contest was over.