New-look Capitals beat Rangers 3-1 to open series

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(AP Photo/Mark Tenally)   less  Related Content View Photo Washington Capitals left wing Alex … WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, the Washington Capitals played a defense-first brand of hockey under coach Dale Hunter. Nearly all of their playoff games were decided by one goal. Alex Ovechkin’s ice time dwindled. And their postseason ended with a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in the second round. On Thursday night, the Capitals opened this year’s playoffs against — who else? — the Rangers, using first-time NHL head coach Adam Oates’ more free-flowing style and a re-energized Ovechkin to produce a 3-1 victory. “We play more well-rounded now,” Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. “We have guys that can score goals and are allowed to go up there and do their thing. There’s really no reins on anybody. At the same time, they know what their defensive responsibilities are.” Ovechkin’s franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got Washington started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, while Braden Holtby made 35 saves to outplay New York’s Henrik Lundqvist. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Washington. source:

NHL-Highlights of Thursday’s NHL playoff games

Rene Bourque and rookie Brendan Gallagher scored as part of a 27-shot second period for the Northeast Division champion Canadiens, who will host Ottawa in Game 2 on Friday. Carey Price stopped 27 shots, but saw his career postseason record drop to 8-16-0. – – – Capitals 3, Rangers 1 Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart in the second period and Braden Holtby turned aside 35 shots as third-seeded Washington skated to victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series with visiting New York. Three-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin netted his 31st career playoff goal for the Southeast Division champion Capitals, who host the sixth-seeded Rangers in Game 2 on Saturday. With the game tied at 1-1, defenseman Steven Oleksy’s stretch pass sailed between Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi to allow Johansson to skate in and fire a wrist shot under the left arm of Henrik Lundqvist (27 saves). Chimera, who was celebrating his 34th birthday, kept the Verizon Center rocking as he wired a shot from the left-wing boards that beat Lundqvist between his pads. It was Chimera’s eighth career postseason goal – and sixth versus New York. (Editing by Peter Rutherford and Amlan Chakraborty) Loading… AP ST. LOUIS (AP) — For the second straight time, the St. Louis Blues stunned the goalie that stoned … April 27 (SportsDirect) – Highlights of Saturday’s National Hockey League games – – – – Red Wings … More Sports News Remind me when I share | Not you? Log out of Facebook How to remove this experience Soccer-Nigeria’s Anichebe puts international career on hold May 2 (Reuters) – Everton striker Victor Anichebe has asked Nigeria not to consider him for next month’s Confederation Cup in Brazil because he wants to rest after the rigours of the English season. source:

Rangers Fall to Capitals While Senators Top Canadiens in NHL

Louis Blues topped the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series and the Detroit Red Wings evened their series at 1-1 with a 5-4 overtime victory at the Anaheim Ducks. Tonight, the New York Islanders will try to tie their series 1-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins; the Senators will seek their second straight win against the Canadiens; the Chicago Blackhawks, with a 1-0 advantage, host the Minnesota Wild, and San Jose has a 1-0 lead at the Vancouver Canucks. At the Verizon Center in Washington, New York’s Carl Hagelin scored in the first period. Alex Ovechkin tied the game on a power play in the second for the Capitals, who led 3-1 within another eight minutes on goals 46 seconds apart by Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera . Chimera did a sudden turn and fired his shot from 53 feet past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist . “There was an unexpected pass, and I was a little slow to react,” Lundqvist said. “But definitely I have to stop that. A couple of minutes, a couple of big plays for them. It takes away the fire.” The Capitals host Game 2 tomorrow. Lead Changes Erik Karlsson put Ottawa ahead in the first period at Bell Centre in Montreal. Goals by Rene Bourque and Brendan Gallagher in the second made it 2-1 to the Canadiens. The Senators restored their one-goal advantage in the third on goals by Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot one minute, 53 seconds apart, and Guillaume Latendresse made it 4-2 for Ottawa with 6:05 left in the game. source:

New York Rangers vs. Capitals: 5 Keys for Rangers to Win NHL Playoff Series


Of course, this also means the Rangers need to stay out of the box. A team can’t avoid penalties completely, but they can avoid dumb ones. That means no hooking penalties when an extra stride will suffice. That means no too-many-men penalties. That means no penalties for unwarranted extracurricular activities.  The Rangers can sometimes be guilty of that—like every team—but they have to be disciplined. The Capitals power play will score. But they need to do damage control and limit the amount of scoring chances.  If the Rangers can limit the Capitals’ chances, as well as kill off as many chances the Caps do get, then the Blueshirts have a good shot of winning.  If the Capitals’ power-play is clicking, then this series will be ugly.  Alexander Ovechkin Rob Carr/Getty Images Alexander Ovechkin is back on top. After scoring 38 goals last season in 82 games, Ovechkin scored 32 goals in 48 and re-established himself as the one of the best offensive weapons in the game. The New York Rangers will need to limit his scoring changes. Last year, they did a good job. In seven games, they held Ovechkin to just three goals. They’ll need a repeat if they want to win. source:


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