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B’s Squander Lead, Caps Win in Overtime

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) scores on a penalty shot past Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) scores on a penalty shot past Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington — Eric Fehr scored 37 seconds into overtime last night, and the Washington Capitals rallied from a three-goal, first-period deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a thriller reminiscent of the teams’ seven-game playoff series a year ago.

Pinched by two defenders, Fehr was falling forward as he got off the shot that hit the upper right post and went in, giving the Capitals their seventh win in 10 games as they attempt to climb out of the lower echelons of the NHL standings.

Fehr also got the assist on the game-tying goal with 6:05 to play in regulation, when he worked his way through a crowd into the offensive zone and — with four Bruins around him — managed to get the puck ahead to Wojtek Wolski for the backhanded stroke past Tuukka Rask.

Mike Ribeiro also scored, Tomas Kundratek got his first NHL goal, Steve Olesky earned his first NHL assist, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves in his 10th consecutive start for Washington in the teams’ first meeting since the Bruins were eliminated in seven one-goal games by the Capitals in the first round of the 2012 postseason, when Boston was defending its 2011 Stanley Cup title.

A short-handed penalty shot by Brad Marchand, an even-strength goal by Zdeno Chara and a power-play tally from Dougie Hamilton gave Boston a 3-0 lead in the first period. Rask made 22 saves for the Bruins, who have lost two straight following a six-game winning streak.

Alex Ovechkin had an especially eventful night for the Capitals, with plays good and bad. He committed three penalties — including two that led to Bruins goals — but he set up a Capitals goal and was active on the defensive end throughout. He crashed into the net three times in the third period, once while drawing a hooking penalty.

Marchand’s unusual goal came after Capitals defenseman John Carlson couldn’t handle a pass near the blue line on the power play. The Bruins center pounced on the puck in the neutral zone and had his breakaway attempt thwarted when he was hooked by Ovechkin. The official called for a penalty shot, and Marchand converted for his 12th goal of the season.

Chara made it 2-0 with a painful assist from David Krejci, who was hit in the groin area by a shot from Milan Lucic. Chara put the loose puck into the net, while Krejci fell to his knees.

With Ovechkin in the penalty box for interference, Hamilton gave the Bruins a three-goal lead at the first intermission.

But the Capitals responded with two goals in the second period. Ovechkin knocked down a drive from Olesky and fed the puck to Ribeiro for a goal, and a faceoff win in the Bruins’ zone — Nicklas Backstrom beating Chris Kelly, who wins more than 60 percent of the time — set up Kundratek to make it a one-goal game.

Notes: The bad blood from last year’s series was evident when Boston’s Shawn Thornton and Washington’s John Erskine dropped gloves after the Bruins’ second goal. ... Capitals RW Troy Brouwer missed the game with an illness. ... With Olesky signed and recalled from the AHL on Monday, the Capitals waived veteran D Roman Hamrlik, who had played in only four games this season. ... The Bruins had won four straight on the road.