New York, NY – Nicklas Backstrom scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Backstrom also had a goal and an assist during regulation. Alex Ovechkin tallied a goal and a helper for the Capitals, who won their third straight game. Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots.
"We've been playing good hockey for a while," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "Desperation or just solid hockey, I'm not quite sure. Obviously, the points are important for everybody and we played good."
Arron Asham, who hadn't played since Feb. 19 due to a back injury, had a goal for the Rangers. Derek Stepan also lit the lamp for New York, which lost for the fifth time in seven contests.
Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves in defeat.
"Overall, I think we had enough chances to win this game," Lundqvist said. "I only stopped two of four in the shootout. I have to be better. You face really good players. I think the last one was a really good shot. Ovechkin, I felt like I had him, but I didn't get the stick down."
Ovechkin scored on a wrist shot in the second round of the shootout, but Stepan netted the equalizer on the ensuing try with a backhander. Brad Richards shot wide of the net, and then Backstrom scored on a blast into the right side of the net.
Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman was whistled off the ice for holding at 7:43, and the Capitals scored the game's first goal 11 seconds later. Ovechkin's shot from the left circle was deflected on its way to the net and was temporarily stopped by Lundqvist. The puck caromed into the air and went off the body of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi and then Backstrom into the net.
Ovechkin scored less than two minutes later on a deflection in front off a high slot shot from Steve Oleksy, but the Rangers countered at the 14:12 mark on Asham's second goal of the season. Asham skated on a 2-on-1 break and delivered a successful shot from the left circle that beat Holtby high to the glove side.
The tying goal came during a 2-man advantage with 1:57 left in the first when Stepan's shot deflected off the pad and into the net.
Marian Gaborik was denied by Holtby on a breakaway chance with nine minutes left in the second period. A rising shot clanked off Lundqvist's mask in the final minute of the stanza.
The Caps outshot the Rangers, 11-5 in the third period and again (5-1) in overtime.
Rangers coach John Tortorella remains one win shy of earning his 400th career triumph as a National Hockey League head coach ... Ovechkin has four goals and five assists during his current six-game points streak.