WASHINGTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin scored 27 seconds apart in the third period as the Washington Capitals avoided elimination by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in Game 5 on Saturday night.
Nicklas Backstrom tied the score early in the third as the Capitals finally solved Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals on 32 shots. Washington's comeback spoiled the return of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after a one-game absence due to a concussion.
Crosby had an assist and Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who lead the second-round series 3-2 with Game 6 back in Pittsburgh on Monday night.
While Fleury struggled for the first time against the Capitals, Vezina Trophy finalist Braden Holtby had his best game of the series, stopping 20 shots. Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington.
Even though players were loose at the morning skate facing elimination, the nerves were palpable inside the arena even before puck drop. When an early Capitals power play went nowhere and Hagelin made it 1-0 Pittsburgh 10:24 in, it got quiet fast -- except for Penguins fans' derisive chants of "HOLT-BY, HOLT-BY."
Burakovsky pumped some energy back in with a psychologically important goal with 29.7 seconds remaining in the first period, his first of the playoffs. He earned a promotion to the top line because of his strong play in the series but scored back with the third line on a toe drag that bought him space and a shot that froze Fleury.
Hours after defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk bemoaned that ill-timed penalties were hurting the Capitals, a holding call on Nate Schmidt paved the way for another momentum shift as Kessel scored on the power play 4:20 into the second. The Penguins went into the second intermission with a lead having won 37 of 39 games in that spot during the regular season and all six in the playoffs.
It took an individual effort from Backstrom to begin Washington's stunning turnaround. The Capitals' top-line center carried the puck up the ice, executed a give-and-go with Burakovsky and beat Fleury for the tying goal at 2:49 of the third (see full recap).
Turris' OT goal gives Senators 3-2 series lead over Rangers
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Kyle Turris scored 6:28 into overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators to 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday for a 3-2 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Derick Brassard tied the score with 1:26 left in the third period for the Senators. Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Tom Pyatt also scored and Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots. It was Ottawa's fifth overtime win of the postseason, including a double-overtime victory here against the Rangers in Game 2.
Jesper Fast, Nick Holden, Ryan McDonagh and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves.
Michael Grabner appeared to win it for the Rangers less than 5 minutes into overtime, but it was disallowed because his redirection came on a high-stick.
Turris then knocked in the rebound of his own shot through Lundqvist's five-hole to put the Senators one win away from returning to the conference finals for the first time since 2007.
Game 6 is Tuesday night in New York.
Ottawa trailed 2-0 less than 5 1/2 minutes into the game, before scoring three times to take the lead midway through the second period. McDonagh tied it for the Rangers late in the second and Vesey gave them the lead with 7:12 remaining in the third.
With Anderson pulled for an extra skater, Brassard tied it with the puck deflecting in off the back of Rangers defenseman Brandon Smith's right skate (see full recap).