In Game 1, the Washington Capitals held the New York Rangers to 14 shots. They blocked shots, withstood and early surge from the home team and hit four goal posts. In Game 2, they beat the Rangers at their game and won with a late Power Play goal from their captain.
Late in the third period after the Rangers tied the game on a Power Play tip-in by Captain Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards was called for holding and sent to the box. Richards was incensed by the call, but referee Stephen Walkom deemed it worthy of two minutes in the Sin Bin. It took Alexander Ovechkin four seconds to make the Rangers pay, taking a face-off win and wristing a screened shot past Henrik Lundqvist.
The game had so many ups-and-downs it was unreal. The Caps withstood another early surge from the Rangers and scored on a 3-on-2 rush on a pretty passing play by Keith Aucoin and Joel Ward with former-Rangers Mike Knuble finishing. The Capitals would build on the lead after goaltender Braden Holtby stopped Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider on a breakaway; a net-mouth scramble was put in by Jason Chimera off Ryan McDonagh’s skate.
The Rangers comeback started with a feed in from maligned-forward Marian Gaborik to Brad Richards, who redirected it into the net. Despite that each team struck on the Power Play and looked good at even strength, Marian Gaborik recorded only two shots on net and an astonishing low 3 shots in the two games of the series. For a player that scored 41 goals in the regular season, three shots won’t produce many goals. Gaborik must get more opportunities to score. To be fair, the Capitals have been blocking his shots- and the rest of the teams as they blocked 24 shots Monday night.
The Capitals are taking the Rangers game and spitting it right back at them. However, the Rangers are a team that is subject to a lull and rarely loses back-to-back games. Game 3 will be a must watch and look for another hard-fought tight-checking game. Should be a great one.