W2W4: Rangers vs. Capitals

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
1:11
PM ET
At a glance: Tied 1-1 after the first pair of games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers and Capitals take the series to Washington, D.C., for Game 3 on Wednesday. The Rangers hope to get the most out of their top guys, while it seems the Capitals have coaxed a positive response out of their superstar with unconventional methods.

Limiting Ovechkin: Held off the score sheet in Game 1, Alex Ovechkin’s ice time was limited in Game 2. No 8 played only 13:36 in what Caps coach Dale Hunter characterized as an effort to “roll four lines.” Whatever Hunter’s reasoning for playing Ovechkin a career playoff low, it worked. The star forward tallied the game-winner in the third period to give the Caps a 3-2 win and snap a two-game goal drought.

Boyle wants to be better: Brian Boyle was pretty blunt in assessing his first game back from a concussion. Of his performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Boyle said “I stunk.” The 6-foot-6 center, who lost the faceoff on Ovechkin’s game-winner Monday, tallied three goals in the first three games of the team’s first-round series against the Senators.

No Dubinsky: The Rangers will be without injured forward Brandon Dubinsky for the third straight game Wednesday. The 26-year-old forward appeared to suffer a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals and has not played since. Coach John Tortorella confirmed he did make the trip with the team to D.C., but there has been no indication he is close to a return.

Teacher’s pet: With Ovechkin’s ice time limited, some unexpected characters have seen their roles increase, namely defensive-minded Jay Beagle. Beagle led all forwards in ice time with 19:58 in Game 2. Beagle finished the game with one assist, five hits and a plus-1 rating.

Another nomination for Lundqvist: Already nominated for the Vezina and Hart Trophies, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist secured another Wednesday afternoon. The 30-year-old netminder, who has set career highs in wins (39), save percentage (.930) and goals against average, was announced by the NHLPA as one of three finalists for the annual Ted Lindsay Award. Lundqvist joins Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos as fellow nominees for the award for "Most Outstanding Player" as voted by NHL players.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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