W2W4: Rangers at Caps, Game 7


At a glance: Emotions boiled over following the final buzzer Sunday after the Rangers blanked the Capitals to force a winner-takes-all Game 7 in D.C, ensuring that Monday night’s contest will be a nasty grudge match. After building a 2-0 lead in the series, the Capitals must defend home ice to avoid elimination.

Bad blood: A volatile scrum between the Rangers and Capitals broke out after the end of regulation, a good indication that hostilities between the two teams are at an all-time high. While part of that was likely frustration on the Capitals' part, Washington players were also livid with a play during the third period that involved New York’s Derek Dorsett and Washington’s Mike Green. After the game, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby accused Dorsett of trying to drag down Green with a "dirty slewfoot," after which Green retaliated with a crosscheck to Dorsett’s mouth. Though Green was penalized on the play, neither player will be facing any supplementary discipline, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

Eye on Green: Lost in the scuffle of the post-buzzer skirmish was Green getting inadvertently kicked in the head by teammate Mike Ribeiro’s skate. Green was down on the ice, pinned under Rangers forward Brian Boyle, when Ribeiro fell and accidentally made contact. Green, who did not speak after the game, appeared shaken once he got up.

Rising to occasion: With little margin for error this entire series, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was perfect in keeping his team’s hopes alive. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner turned away all 27 shots faced to record his seventh career playoff shutout as the Rangers evened the series 3-3 at Madison Square Garden.

Spotlight on special teams: The Rangers' woeful power play continued to struggle Sunday. New York failed to cash in on all five man-up opportunities, including 44 seconds of 5-on-3 time. They head into Game 7 just 2-for-26 on the power play this series. Meanwhile, Washington will need to make a concerted effort to remain more disciplined. The Capitals took a whopping seven penalties Sunday, and while the Rangers couldn’t make them pay, it at least kept Alex Ovechkin off the ice for a significant chunk of the game.

Containing Ovechkin: Speaking of Ovechkin, the Hart Trophy finalist has been held off the score sheet in four straight games, the longest drought of his NHL playoff career.