In a series that has seen each game won by the home team, the Rangers continued that trend by holding serve at Madison Square Garden with a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals. The win sends the teams back to Washington to continue what is now a best of 3 series for the opportunity to move on to Round 2.
New York got on the board in the opening frame when Braden Holtby‘s attempt to clear the puck was knocked down by Taylor Pyatt, whose stick might have been over his shoulder. With Holtby scrambling to get back into the net, Carl Hagelin‘s shot was blocked by John Carlson but the rebound went to Brad Richards who buried his shot after Holtby slid too far through the crease.
Carl Hagelin doubled the lead just past the midway point of the second when he took a cross-ice pass from Derick Brassard and stepped into a slap shot from the faceoff dot that beat Holtby far side. Washington did not quit, however, and Mathieu Perreault got the Caps within one, jamming home a rebound after Joel Ward drove the net but was turned aside by Henrik Lundqvist. The rebound went right onto the stick of Perreault, who made no mistake. Before the period was out, Washington had evened the score with Troy Brouwer‘s backhand from the slot with 17 seconds left in the period to send the teams to the intermission tied at 2.
An interference penalty to Jason Chimera at the end of the second period proved costly in the third, as Brassard found Dan Girardi with a nifty backhand saucer pass across the ice, and Girardi wired a slap shot home just before the 1:00 mark. New York would restore that two goal lead about five minutes later after a great passing play had Holtby tied in knots and Derek Stepan facing an open net, on which he made no mistake. Washington would get within one with over 12 minutes left on Perreault’s second of the game, a tip-in of Karl Alzner‘s point shot. Washington fired 15 shots on Lundqvist in the third but couldn’t find the equalizer as the Rangers hung on for the win.
SENSHOT’S 3 STARS
1. Carl Hagelin
2. Derick Brassard
3. Mathieu Perreault
Game 5 goes back to Washington on Friay night.