The Capitals held serve at home in the opening game of their Eastern Conference first round playoff series, using 3 third period goals to skate away with a 3-1 win.
The Washington Capitals got out of the gate quickly and dominated early on, with the benefit of a too many men on the ice penalty in the first minute to dominate the first half of the period, but they could not beat Henrik Lundqvist. It was actually the Rangers who got on the board first with just over 3 minutes left as Carl Hagelin‘s wrap-around beat Braden Holtby to break the ice. After 20 minutes it was the Rangers leading 1-0 despite being outshot 14-8.
The Rangers seemed to have gotten the momentum early on in the second as they peppered Holtby with shots, but couldn’t add to the lead, which would prove costly. A power play for the Capitals allowed Alex Ovechkin to knot the score when he picked up a rebound off the back boards and put it past Lundqvist. Washington struck quickly for two more, the first one being Steve Oleksy’s stretch pass to Marcus Johansson sprung the Caps forward and he broke in on Lundqvist and beat him. Then the backbreaker came 46 seconds later when Jason Chimera‘s shot from the side boards snuck in under Lundqvist’s pad to give the Capitals a 2 goal lead despite a 16-9 Rangers edge in shots on goal.
The third period was scoreless, as the best chance came with John Moore pinching in down the wing and putting a shot on Holtby that probably crossed the line at some point, but there was no definitive angle that showed it and the no-goal call on the ice stood. That was as close as the Caps would get, and they took game 1 at home by a score of 3-1.
SENSHOT’S 3 STARS
1. Braden Holtby
2. Jason Chimera
3. Alex Ovechkin
Game 2 goes Saturday afternoon at 12:30 PM.
OTHER GAMES OF THE NIGHT