Capitals rally to even series

Don’t count out the Washington Capitals, no matter how big the deficit, no matter how dire the circumstances.

Nicklas Backstrom completed a hat trick by scoring only 31 seconds into overtime, helping the top-seeded Capitals finish a wild comeback to beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens, 6-5, Saturday night and even their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at a game apiece.

Montreal led 2-0 after its first two shots, prompting Washington to yank goalie Jose Theodore, and then went ahead 4-1. But with Alex Ovechkin producing a goal and three assists, the Capitals kept rallying.

Rookie defenseman John Carlson tied it at 5-all with 1:21 left in regulation, and Backstrom’s wrister past Jaroslav Halak won it.

Boston 5, Buffalo 3: Michael Ryder and Zdeno Chara scored two minutes apart in the third period and the Bruins rallied to tie their Eastern Conference series at 1-1.

The Sabres not only squandered a lead entering the third period for the first time this season but also lost leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who didn’t return after he hurt his left foot in the first period.

Chara and Ryder both scored twice for the Bruins, who erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. Chara broke a 3-3 tie by snapping a shot over the right shoulder of goalie Ryan Miller with 12:37 left.

Jason Pominville, Matt Ellis and rookie defenseman Tyler Myers scored for Buffalo.

Mark Recchi sealed the victory by scoring into an open net as the Bruins ended a seven-game playoff losing streak at Buffalo.