The Washington Capitals won a tense 2-1 overtime victory over the NY Rangers. The game winning goal came at 18:24 of the overtime, when a Marc Staal turnover led to Jason Arnott setting-up Alexander Semin in the slot for a one-timer that he ripped by Lundqvist.
You certainly can't blame Staal alone for the loss, he'd been a workhorse all night, playing a bruising 33:48 mostly against Alexander Ovechkin. Drury's failure to clear the puck before Staal's flub was equally fatal.
Ovechkin's goal with only 6:16 remaining in the game was a knee-capping of the first order. Ovechkin got to the front of the Rangers net and then gets to bang away at Lundqvist's kneecaps for a couple of minutes until the puck trickles in. You would think Dubinsky, Stepan or Fedotenko might have had a notion to lay a body on the rampaging Russian? I guess not.
Ovechkin said: “I just try to hit something. It goes in.” The Ovie goal spoiled a splendid game from the King.
Marian Gaborik, our would-be goal scorer, did some peppering of Neuvirth, but the seasoning was not baked in. So yet again, Gaborik serves us some more cold gruel.
When the Rangers lose the shot-blocking battle, 28-32, to the Caps you know they are going to have a tough night.
32 - blocked shots for the Caps in Game 1 of their Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers, the most they've had in any playoff game under Bruce Boudreau. During the 2010-11 season, the Caps had the seventh-highest shot block total in the League with 1257; the Rangers were fourth with 1301...Some other thoughts that I want to echo:
Carp / Rangers Report Blog:
I think Sean Avery has to find his way back into the lineup. Don’t know if he’d go in for Erik Christensen, who was on the perimeter again, or for Mats Zuccarello, who took the early penalty and barely played thereafter...Scotty Hockey:
Brandon Prust won't make it into the three stars but he did put forth a very Prustian effort. Gilroy's goal was all because of his forecheck and he helped the Rangers match the Caps physicality.Hockey Rodent:
I saw a lot of poise out of youngsters with precious little postseason experience once they got those butterflies out of their systems in the first intermission.And some stuff that makes me worry...
Semin now has six goals in eight postseason games against Lundqvist, so maybe this is the psychological edge the Caps’ offense needs to get rolling in the playoffs.