Photo: Bruce Bennett
How do you beat Jaroslav Halak? The answer is almost always traffic up front. That’s how Alex Ovechkin got the Caps their first goal, a deflection in the first period. And that’s how, almost 60 minutes of play later, Nicklas Backstrom ended the game– as Joel Ward impersonated a wall in the slot.
After winning a board battle along the wall, Backstrom carried the puck back to the point. Then he got a gift from the hockey gods as John Tavares dropped his stick. Firing a shot that was more muffin than cannon, the seeing-eye puck eluded Halak thanks to Joel Ward’s beautiful rump.
“It was awesome,” Barry Trotz said after the game. “That’s what playoff hockey is. I thought we could have played for a long time. If [overtime] would have gone a lot longer, I think we would have been really good. We were enjoying the battle. We were enjoying how hard it was getting.”
That’s Nick Backstrom’s third playoff overtime winner. And that’s how you beat the Isles in overtime.
Now let’s party!
Backstrom: "It's a good job by Ward in front of the net there. Without him there, it wouldn’t be a goal. I would say it’s his goal."
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) April 22, 2015
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