Monday, April 18, 2011

Playoff Round 1 Game #3 Recap: Caps 2 New York 3

The Capitals fell for the first time in the series after ending up on the wrong end of a 3-2 score. The Rangers twice took one goal leads that the Capitals matched but the final tally came at the 18:21 mark of the third period and the Caps ran out of clock. For Washington the main lesson to be learned is that the aggressor is going to get the calls. By pushing the play the Rangers forced the Caps to defend their own zone and in doing were reacting to plays rather than controlling plays. This led to the discrepancy in penalty calls where New York had 7 power plays to Washington's 3. The Capitals penalty kill was valiant in its work. Stopping 6 of the 7 New York man advantage chances including 1:34 of 5-on-3 play where the Caps allowed only 2 shots on goal. The first New York goal came on the power play 5:30 into the second period with John Carlson in the box for a cross check. The Capitals responded late in the third with a a tip in goal by Alex Ovechkin that was set up by Jason Arnott and Mike Green. The Rangers thought they had replied with a goal at the very end of the period when a seeing-eye puck shot from the left wing corner found its way through a maze of bodies, went off the far post and across the goal line. Video review concluded that the puck completely cross the goal line after time had had expired so there was no goal. The third period saw the Ranger retake the lead eight minutes into the frame when a rebound fell right onto a Ranger stick on the right side of the crease. After killing off another New York power play the Caps got their third man-advantage of the game. Mike Knuble tied the score from in close on a goal set up by Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. From there the game appeared to be headed to another overtime but with just over four minutes remaining Carlson and Rangers forward Brian Boyle were sent to the box for roughing. During the 4-on-4 action, Brandon Dubinsky took the puck out of a scrum in the left wing corner and went straight to the net. His shot was initially blocked but the puck deflected off of Karl Alzner's shoulder, Michal Neuvirth's right pad and Ovechkin's stick before dribbling into the net giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead with 1:39 remaining in regulation. The Capitals pulled the goalie to no avail. The Capitals lead the series 2-1 with Game #4 on Wednesday.

Of Note:
  • Michal Neuvirth stopped 32 of 35 shots in his first playoff loss. He has now given up 4 goals on 82 shots he's faced for a 0.951 save percentage.
  • Alex Ovechkin continues to score and dish out the punishment. He finished Game #3 with 1 goal, 1 assist and a team high 5 hits.
  • The Capitals were out shot 35 to 25 in the game and were not good in the face-off dot. Only Boyd Gordon who won 11 of his 16 draws was above 50%. These are two areas the Capitals will need to address in Game #4.
  • Jason Arnott and Mike Green contributed 1 assist each in Game #3 and have 3 points apiece in the series.
  • It was a rough game for the young defensemen John Carlson and Karl Alzner. Carlson had 2 penalties and Alzner was on ice for 2 of New York's 3 goals. On the plus side the duo combined for 5 hits and 2 blocked shots.
  • After putting up 53 blocked shots in the first 2 games the Caps only managed 11 blocks in Game #3.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Game Highlights:

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