Found May 11, 2012 on
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich -- the Washington Capitals players on the front of the team's media guide -- have been together long enough to see three postseasons end in Game 7s.
Washington's captain said the team's Game 7 history -- which does include a first-round victory over the defending Stanley Cup champ Boston Bruins last month -- isn't something the team dwells on as it prepares for Saturday's decisive game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
"What's the point of thinking about it?" Ovechkin told reporters Friday at the team's practice facility. "We just have to win. Sometimes memories are good. Sometimes memories are bad. You just have to take what you have and go out and there and show what you have. (That means) blocking shots and making hits."
And getting the first marker. The team that has scored first has won each of the first six games.
"I don't think it's the be all, end all for us," veteran Caps winger Mike Knuble said. "Getting that first goal is always big, especially in a Game 7. It takes a load off. Can you go into the game thinking it's over if you don't score the first goal? You sure can't, but it does help things."
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist -- and his Caps counterpart Braden Holtbly, whose fiancee gave birth to a boy on Thursday -- will certainly have a say on who wins or loses, but Game 7s aren't always decided by top-line forwards.
The Caps advanced in 2009 after aged veteran forward Sergei Fedorov scored the decisive goal against the Rangers. The first-round victory on April 25 -- in overtime no less -- was shoveled in by Joel Ward, who certainly fits the definition of a role player. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi scored his only goal of the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators in Game 7, the game-winner in a 2-1 victory at MSG.
"In a lot of Game 7s, you have a lot of guys who you don't expect to score make the difference in the game," Caps forward Keith Aucoin said. "When you get the opportunity to score, you have to bear down and get the job done."
And the game-winners aren't typically the prettiest goals, but that would certainly fit this tight series. Each of the first six games were decided by a goal, and the series has been either tied or a one-goal game for 90 percent of the time.
Studying game video is almost pointless since the teams know each other's tendencies so well at this point, veteran Knuble said.
"We know what's going to be thrown at us," Knuble said. "We know what's going to happen on the ice. You tend to look more internally. You tend to look at yourself (on video) to pick out the little things you're doing on the ice. It's going to come down to those little things. You just try to have all your bases covered."
The Caps have already played three games in this series at MSG, although the Rangers fans -- which have not seen their team advance to the Eastern Conference finals (where the New Jersey Devils await) since 1997 -- could take it up a notch.
Lundqvist, who has been solid, but not spectacular in the series, said he expects the Rangers to do likewise.
"There's more on the line," he said. "You're more excited, more nervous. It's important that you try to control these emotions and approach it the right way."
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Hot on the heels of Chris Bourque, Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and his fiancée Brandi welcomed their first child, a son, Benjamin Hunter on May 10, 2012. No telling if Dale had any influence on lil' Holts middle name, or if the doctor performed his own set of superstitious rituals before entering the room and delivering the newborn with a glove hand flourish...
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, The Washington Capitals didn’t just lose a second-round playoff series in seven tight, tough games with the top-seeded New York Rangers here in thunderous Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. This was a defeat with a victory of a different but enormously important kind, hidden inside it.
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from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet, The Great 8? More like The Okay 8.
There was nothing great about Alex Ovechkin’s performance in Game 6 of the Washington Capitals performance against the New York Rangers Wednesday night.
He was certainly better than in Game 5 when he failed to register a shot on goal, but great? Nope.
Ovechkin scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, had three shots...
Alex Ovechkin spun on his backside like a top after a collision with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough early in the third period.
The Washington Capitals captain somehow kept possession of the puck and fired it at the Rangers net, a low volley that was turned aside by goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
No matter. Ovechkin had already given the Caps a vital goal in a 2-1 victory...
For two of the three games in Washington, the Rangers appeared to be outmatched. This isn’t to say that the Caps actually outplayed the Rangers, except for Game Six, but it’s to say that the Caps appeared to match up better against the Rangers –and therefore played better– in those games. One can just look at the games and think that the Rangers just didn’t have it, or...
Of the NHL’s 30 member clubs merely five remain alive in the quest for Stanley, and one of them is ours. That’s a remarkable and wonderful thing, relative to the Capitals’ standing of just two months ago, but better still is the manner in which they’ve arrived at this competitive precipice: all the red-sweatered-wearers are buying into the system and creed and demeanor of...
The Washington Capitals were on ice Friday morning for a practice as they prepare for the decisive game seven of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers, to be played Saturday night in New York. Some updates from Arlington:
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The progression of this Washington Capitals squad over the past five seasons reminds me of a teen going through high school.
They started off shy yet rambunctious, made many friends, faced a few bullies and learned lessons from many mentors along the way. Eventually, the Capitals grew up.
Just a few things that caught my eye ...
Exhaustion is almost guaranteed with a new baby. Braden Holtby became a first-time dad on Thursday. Wonder how that's going to affect his game.
Score first and win. It seems to work in the Rangers-Capitals series. Can't wait for Saturday night ...
Speaking of dads -- if the Caps push through, 40-year...
The Washington Capitals’ 2011-12 season came crashing down on Saturday night as they fell to the New York Rangers inside Madison Square Garden in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. The Caps surrendered the lead only 92 seconds in to the game on a goal from Brad Richards and never recovered. The Rangers’ stifling defense, led by Vezina and Hart Trophy nominee...
#7 Washington Capitals at #1 New York Rangers Location: Madison Square Garden Time: 7:30 PM TV: NBC Sports Network (HD) Radio: 1500AM, 820 AM, and XM Series Tied 3-3Game 1: Apr 28, 2012, WSH@NYR, 1-3 LGame 2: Apr 30, 2012, WSH@NYR, 3-2 WGame 3: May 2, 2012, NYR@WSH, 1-2 L (3OT)Game 4: May 5, 2012, WSH@NYR, 3-2 WGame 5: May 7, 2012, NYR@WSH, 2-3 L (OT)Game...
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty
Here we go again.
Saturday night inside Madison Square Garden, the Washington Capitals will play a game seven in which one team is the favorite. One team had the banner regular season. One team led the Eastern Conference in points. One team is a betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
Sound familiar to a Capitals fan?
It should. But as...
88 seconds into last night's do-or-die Game 6 against the visiting New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin sent a howitzer of a one timer high over Henrik Lundqvist's glove to give the Washington Capitals the early lead. The power play blast was the Captain's 30th career playoff goal, and tied him for the franchise lead him with Peter Bondra, who netted 30 in 80 career playoff...
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.; TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN Radio), in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The series is tied at three games apiece, following a 2-1 loss in Game 6 on Wednesday at Verizon Center. The Blueshirts [...]
(Eds: Updates with details, quotes and byline. With AP Photos.) By JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer All those changes didn't get the Washington Capitals any further in the playoffs.
That's the big-picture view, the one that says this season was another disappointing performance by an immensely talented roster.
Remember last summer, when the Capitals in quick succession added...