Capitals Win 1st Game for Interim Coach
Saturday, November 24, 2007; 12:46 AM
PHILADELPHIA -- Nicklas Backstrom scored in overtime to make Bruce Boudreau's debut as the Washington Capitals' interim head coach a success with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.
Backstrom, who also had two assists, slipped a loose puck past Philadelphia goaltender Marty Biron at 1:55 of the extra period to snap the Capitals' five-game losing streak.
Philadelphia's Mike Richards had tied the score on a rebound goal with 4:15 left in regulation.
Mike Green, Chris Clark, and Donald Brashear also scored for the Capitals, who jumped off to a 3-0 lead. Tom Poti added two assists for Washington.
Danny Briere and Jeff Carter scored for the Flyers, who were outshot 35-25.
The 52-year-old Boudreau was named to the interim position Thursday, replacing Glen Hanlon, who was fired a day after the Capitals lost to the Atlanta Thrashers, 5-1. He took over a team that had lost nine of its previous 10, and 15 of 18.
Despite the win over the Flyers, Washington has the worst record in the National Hockey League (7-14-1) and has compiled a league-low 15 points.
Green put the Capitals ahead with a power-play goal at 2:27 of the first period. He scored on a one-timer from the left circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Backstrom.
Clark made it 2-0 at 3:39 of the second period, streaking down the right side and scoring from the slot.
Brashear, a former Flyer, picked up his first point of the season at 14:11 of the period by deflecting Shaone Morrison's shot from the point.
The Flyers then made it closer by scoring twice in a span of 2:04.
Briere hammered in a loose puck on a power play at 15:45 after Clark received a major penalty for fighting Scott Hartnell and was also called for instigation, unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct.
Carter poked the puck between goaltender Olie Kolzig's pads at 17:49.
With the addition of such free agents as Michael Nylander, Viktor Kozlov, and Poti, the Capitals were expected to be a major contender in the Southeast Division this season, especially after winning their first three games.
Boudreau, who ran his first practice with the Capitals on Thursday morning, won the 2006 Calder Cup title with the Hershey Bears, the Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate. He also guided the Bears to the league's Eastern Conference championship and Calder Cup finals again last season.
Coincidentally, the Bears were scheduled to play the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate, on Friday night on the same Wachovia Center ice.
A third-round draft pick of Toronto in the 1975 NHL draft, Boudreau played parts of eight seasons with the Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks, recording 70 points in 141 games.
Notes: The Flyers, who dropped all four games to Washington last season, have split two games with the Capitals this year. ... Washington LW Alex Ovechkin extended his point streak to seven straight games (5-3-8) with an assist on Backstrom's goal. ... Flyers LW Simon Gagne missed his seventh straight game (concussion).