Saturday, May 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Caps 1, Rangers 0 (OT)
By Katie Strang
What it means: Washington's Mike Green tallied on the power play for the game winner eight minutes into overtime as the Caps knocked off the Rangers 1-0 and took a commanding 2-0 series lead. Two failed power plays for the Rangers late in the game, during which they were held without a shot, spoiled a sensational performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Caps netminder Braden Holtby was also impressive, making 24 saves for the shutout.
Headed to OT: There were plenty of scoring chances in the third period, but neither team could snap the 0-0 tie. Washington's Marcus Johansson, who hesitated too long with a wide-open net earlier in the game, passed up a shot on a two-on-one, dishing back to Nicklas Backstrom instead. Rick Nash powered his way to the net and hit the left post but drew a penalty to put the Rangers on the power play with 3:44 left in regulation. The Rangers couldn't cash in on the man advantage, as the Caps' penalty-killing unit held the Rangers without a shot -- an inspired effort that had the crowd buzzing. Both goaltenders also made stellar saves in the third to preserve the scoreless tie. Holtby sealed the left post to stop Ryan Callahan on the short side early in the period, while Lundqvist stoned Caps veteran Jason Chimera with his right pad midway through the frame.
No call: The Rangers appeared incensed when a puck deflected off Washington's Karl Alzner up over the glass in the Caps' defensive zone yet no delay of game penalty was called. It was not immediately clear why the play didn't warrant a whistle, though it may have been negated by the fact that the puck caromed off Alzner as opposed to him shooting it over the glass.
Goaltending clinic: Both Lundqvist and Holtby were stellar through the first 40 minutes, but Lundqvist handled the bulk of the workload in turning away all 25 shots faced in the opening two periods. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner made a terrific stop against Mathieu Perreault in front during the first and got some help from defenseman Ryan McDonagh in thwarting a Grade-A chance from Johansson in the second. Johansson had an open net with Lundqvist face down in the crease, but McDonagh poked his stick to stop Johansson from lifting the puck for what would have been an easy goal.
Scoreless first: Neither team scored, but there was no shortage of fireworks in what was a chippy first period. Alex Ovechkin leveled winger Carl Hagelin, while Rangers captain Callahan set the tone with a team-leading five hits. Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy and Dorsett exchanged some words before Oleksy drew an offensive-zone penalty on Dorsett late in the frame. The period ended with Mats Zuccarello and Green receiving matching roughing minors with less than a minute remaining.
Return to action: The Rangers returned both Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett to the lineup Saturday, a change that was kept under wraps until pregame warm-ups. Boyle played in his first game since suffering a lower-body injury against the Flyers on April 16. Dorsett, who was acquired at the trade deadline in a deal with Columbus, made his Rangers debut after missing almost two months with a fractured collarbone.
Up next: Game 3 is Monday at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m.