Rapid Reaction: Caps 3, Rangers 2
May, 5, 2012
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: After dropping a triple-overtime thriller on Wednesday, Washington bounced back with a 3-2 win over New York in front of a home crowd at the Verizon Center in Game 4 on Saturday. Nick Backstrom was outstanding for Washington, but it was Caps defenseman Mike Green's power-play goal with 5:48 left in regulation that sealed the win and tied the series 2-2. The teams head back to New York for Game 5 on Monday.
Questionable hit: Alex Ovechkin could be facing supplementary discipline after a nasty blow that leveled Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi in the second period. Showing little interest in the puck at his feet, Ovehckin left his skates to deliver a high hit that earned him a two-minute charging penalty.
A-OK: After getting an earful on the bench from coach John Tortorella early in the first period, Artem Anisimov figured into both of the team’s second-period goals. He stickhandled the puck past Braden Holtby's outstretched left pad to make it 1-1 just 70 seconds into play and then set up Marian Gaborik to erase another Caps lead later in the frame.
Gaborik gaining momentum: Taking advantage of a Capitals miscommunication, Anisimov chased down the puck to negate a potential icing and shoveled it in front to Gaborik to tie the game at 2 at 16:43 in the second. It was Gaborik’s second goal in as many games -- he tallied the clincher in Game 3 -- and his fifth point in the last four games.
Save of the series: Henrik Lundqvist made perhaps his finest save of the series, which is saying a lot for the Hart and Vezina Trophy finalist. Lundqvist denied Ovechkin's re-direct attempt at the right post with surgical precision, stunning the star on what should’ve been a gimme at 2:54 of the first. Lundqvist stopped six shots in total on the Caps’ first power-play opportunity before surrendering the game’s first goal to Ovechkin later in the period.
Rookie mistake: Rangers rookie Chris Kreider coughed up the puck in his zone, a brutal giveaway that led to Ovechkin’s second goal of the series. Kreider errantly chipped the puck back to Ovechkin in the slot, where No. 8 ripped a shot that trickled through Lundqvist’s glove for a 1-0 Caps lead at 12:43.
Different look: Gaborik was dropped to the third line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Brian Boyle to begin the game. However, he was reunited with rookie speedster Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards in the second period.