Sunk by a Slow Start: Rangers beat Caps 3-2

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Photo: Chris Gordon

The thing about hockey games, or at least one of the things about hockey games, is that they are at least sixty minutes long. If your team only plays well for– let’s say– the back forty of that hour, you’re gonna have a bad time. The Washington Capitals had a bad time on Saturday.

Chris Kreider scored in the game’s first minute, exploiting some uninvolved Capitals defense. Dan Boyle’s power-play marker made it 2-0 before the first intermission, and things looked grim.

Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his stupid-good postseason with a nifty rebound goal in the second period.

The Caps failed to convert their first power play in the third, and then Derick Brassard made it 3-1. Alex Ovechkin narrowed the gap by taking on two Rangers and scoring from his knees. The Caps made a lot of noise in the final 90 ticks, but couldn’t score.

Rangers beat Caps 3-2. The series is tied 1-1.

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: The Nooner

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I chose this picture of Crosby at Worlds for the top image of this pregame story because I’m a jerk.

Good morning, Caps fans. It’s a beautiful and busy day on the east coast. In just a few hours the Caps and Rangers will be facing off in game two of their best-of-seven series, which started on Thursday about as good as anything can start.

Go make some breakfast, do some chores, maybe get some free comic books. Do it all now because we’ve got a nooner coming. 12:30 on NBC. Caps lead the series 1-0.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Rangers 53-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.8% 84.3%

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Late-Game Heroics: Caps beat Rangers 2-1!

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I have so many jokes about this picture, but Ian won’t let me make any.

The rested Rangers came out flying in the first period of the first game of the second round, but it was weary Washington who scored first. A pitched battle followed– with plenty of end-to-end action and shoulda-been-coulda-been goals. A late goal by the Rangers made it a contest, and just as we prepared for overtime, something happened.

On a power play late in the first, Alex Ovechkin gained the zone and carved a Christmas ham with a sneaky shot. With five minutes left, the Rangers tied it up after a looooong offensive-zone session. No big deal– Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward combined for the clutchest of clutch moves you’ve ever seen.

Caps beat Rangers 2-1. Caps lead the series 1-0. Hahahahahaha

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Graphic: Ondrej T.

The Caps and the Rangers have met in the playoffs a bunch, and that history doesn’t freaking matter at all. These Rangers are faster and less ham-fisted than Tortorella’s. These Capitals are less cautious than Hunter’s and less devastatingly awful than Oates’s. These are basically two new teams, and the Caps are the better one.

7:30 PM at MSG and on NBCSN. Caps in 6. Crash the net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Rangers 53-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.8% 84.3%

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RangersCapitalsJaredSilber

Just last night, the PuckBuddys took delivery of their brand-spankin’-new ginormous UHD TV-monster. We’ve never actually had HD before, so we’re particularly excited to get it just in time for the start of the Rangers/Caps series, so we can actually see every moment that will make us want to vomit in crisp detail.

There’s a lot to feel good about how the Capitals are performing. The Isles series forced them to speed up and sharpen play, and assuming the last game wasn’t an outlier, this is a squad that can take it to anyone. Still, we are up against the Rangers. Again. It’s beginning to feel like the Möbius Strip of playoff hockey.

Once again, we were lucky enough to get a few minutes with Neill Fowler— owner, operator, editor and bottle-washer at New York Rangers Blog, to get his thoughts on the Rangers, the Caps, the series, and why playoff hockey makes us so nauseated. Continue Reading

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RangersCapitalsJaredSilber

Photo credit: Jared Silber

So, it’s the Rangers again. For the fifth time in seven seasons, the Washington Capitals will square off against the folks from Madison Square Garden in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. These series have produced signature moments in Capitals history, such as Sergei Fedorov‘s game seven winner in 2009, and crushing defeats, like when the Rangers outlasted the Capitals by just one goal in game seven of the second round in 2012, booking a spot in the Eastern Conference Final. But, as is their pattern this year, the Washington Capitals will tell you this team is different. They don’t pay attention to the past.

“All that old stuff, get rid of it,” head coach Barry Trotz, in his first year with the Capitals, said. “Let’s look to a new era. Let’s build something.”

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Stan Galiev Earns His First NHL Goal (GIF)

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That’s the puck, stuck in the back of the net.

Stan Galiev has taken a grand total of two shots in his two games in the NHL, and he’s already recorded his first NHL goal.

In garbage time of the Caps’ loss to the Rangers in the final game of the regular season, Barry Trotz gave his rookie line the ice. Like usual, the rookies raided the offensive zone. Michael Latta loosed a desperate shot, and Galiev corralled the rebound for his milestone marker.

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Rangers beat Caps 4-2: Now the Dance Begins

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Gorgeous photo by @Lexixkim

The Washington Capitals didn’t win their final game of the regular season, but it’s already an afterthought. The Rangers got an early lead and didn’t let go. Doesn’t matter– we’re moving on– just as soon as we do this recap.

Kevin Hayes struck first, sinking a backhand scoop on Braden Holtby. Derick Brassard put the Caps in a two-goal hole on the power play, and then Dominic Moore’s Crosbyesque backhand goal made it three. Alex Ovechkin punched back with his 53rd, an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.

Jesper Fast got an empty netter in the third, and then Stan Galiev recorded his first NHL goal in the final minute.

Rangers beat Caps 4-2.

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Caps vs Rangers Pregame: Felina

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This is where the Isles play. That’s not where the Caps will play today and it’s not the place where the team they’re playing today plays, but it’s the place where the team they’re playing next week will play and how much they’ll play there depends on how the Caps play against the team they’re playing today. Please don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be dammit, this is the final #rego pregamer of the season. Don’t make a scene.

The New York Islanders. They’re not the team the Caps will play; they’re just the team the Caps will be thinking about as they play today. The Penguins’ loss last night (p.s. ha) means the Caps and Isles will certainly meet next week in the first round of the playoffs. The only question is how many games the Caps will have to play at Nassau. If the Capitals win today, it’ll be less. Errr… fewer. Dammit, final pregame of the season and I can’t remember which word to use.

Anyway, Caps and Rangers at home at noon thirty on CSN. Right in the middle of your beautiful Saturday when you’d otherwise be gardening.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-25-11 51.9% 100.4 25.0% 81.3%
New York Rangers 52-22-7 50.6% 101.7 16.7% 84.6%

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The MVP in MSG: Caps beat Rangers 5-2

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The view from MSG’s bridge, from Caps Road Crew

Brutal weekend. Or at least it would have been without the best player in the NHL, Alex Ovechkin. The New York Rangers looked speedy and cohesive, whereas the Capitals looked discombobulated and panicky– but Alex Ovechkin grabbed this game by the horns and tamed it like a folk hero. Jason Chimera had a huge third period, and all of a sudden a nightmare weekend wasn’t so bad after all.

Alex Ovechkin started us off just four minutes in, carrying the puck into the Rangers zone and using the D as a screen to beat Cam Talbot. The next two goals belonged to New York: the first Kevin Hayes’ solo effort after John Carlson’s woeful turnover, the second Derek Brassard’s rush goal after Niskanen’s bad pinch.

Ovechkin struck again in the second period, using Joel Ward as a screen to knot the game heading into the final period.

Jason Chimera scored twice (I know, right?!) in the third period– both times by crashing the net and both times with the help of Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr. Marcus Johansson got the empty netter as soon as Cam Talbot left the crease.

Caps beat Rangers 5-2.

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