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Hoo boy, the Washington Capitals are not making this easy. The New York Rangers pretty much owned the zone, but the Caps had a secret weapon, codename: Burracuda.

The Rangers were on attack for the game’s first half pretty much always, but Braden Holtby had them solved– at least until Derick Brassard beat Alex Ovechkin on the rush to score New York’s first goal since the late 80s. It looked grim for the home team, but then Andre Burakovsky did unbelievable things. He scored late in the second and early in the third, breaking out on the national scene in a way the league hasn’t seen since Evgeny Kuznetsov did the exact same thing last round.

Didn’t even have to use Ovi.

Caps beat Rangers 2-1. The Caps lead the series 3-1. Is this real life?

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Caps vs Rangers Pregame: Revenge of the Sixth

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

The Capitals seized an unlikely victory on Monday. The home team was outplayed throughout, but one improbable shot from Jay Beagle and a superlative effort from Braden Holtby gave the Caps a series lead they might not have otherwise deserved. If they want to put the Rangers on the brink of elimination, tonight at 7:30 PM on NBCSN, they’re gonna have to get better results from their top line.

Caps lead the series 2-1.

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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nyrangers-all-caps-wikipedia

Photo: @nbcsn

[There were so many people who tweeted us this story that I am giving in and writing about it.]

Nine minutes before Jay Beagle scored the only goal of game three, the New York Rangers Twitter account tweeted out a capital letter. This was an extinction-level event because the Rangers’ Twitter account had pledged to go all-lowercase to really stick it to the Capitals. Get it?

(Yes, I know it’s dumb.)

The morning after the Capitals 1-0 victory in game three, one intrepid Caps fan decided to vandalize the New York Rangers’ Wikipedia page with all-capital letters.

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Here’s the deal: we’re gonna talk about this game, but we’re not going to talk about the part that matters until the very end. Got it? Good.

The Capitals beat the Rangers. It was a tight one. Very tight. You know how it is.

The first period came and went without a goal, but we got a nifty Jay Beagle goal in the second to make up for it. The Rangers attacked Klendathu in the third period, but the Capitals goalie had the answer for everything, and so….

Caps beat Rangers 1-0!

Caps lead the series 2-1!

BRADEN HOLTBY SHUTOUT!!!

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Caps vs Rangers Pregame: May the Fourth

ovi-dive

Today is the sixth anniversary of what was arguably the greatest game in Capitals franchise history. Playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second game of the second round, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby swapped hat tricks on the way to a 4-3 Caps win. It was the high-water mark for the league’s biggest rivalry — and arguably the Caps themselves, who went on to lose three straight.

Tonight the Caps will host the Rangers in game three of the second round. Someone will do something that we’ll all be talking about tomorrow. Let’s watch it happen together. 7:30 PM on NBCSN.

The series is tied 1-1.

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

msg

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

crosby

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!

two-heads

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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SSJ ovi

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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