Found May 10, 2012 on
New York Rangers
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 in Game 6 of the second-round series at Verizon Center on Wednesday night.
His inspired play -- even after taking a shot to the groin from a well-placed Rangers stick in the first period -- is certainly something the Caps can carry into Saturday's decisive Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
"We don't want to stop playing," said Ovechkin, whose 30th career playoff goal tied him with Peter Bondra for first in franchise history. "We don't want to finish the season. We knew we could beat them. We are going to have our chances."
The first came just 88 seconds into the contest when Ovechkin buried a one-timer off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom on the power play. Jason Chimera made it a 2-0 lead midway through the second period, a margin that held up before Rangers forward Marian Gaborik banked the puck off a Caps defenseman as Ludnqvist sat for an extra attacker with 50.5 seconds left.
Meanwhile, rookie goalie Braden Holtby turned in another solid performance, this time stopping 30 shots.
Still, it was Ovechkin who set the tone after a frustrating Game 5 at MSG two days prior where the Caps allowed the Rangers to tie with 6.6 seconds left and then win it in OT.
"Wherever he's going, we are definitely going to follow," veteran Caps forward Joel Ward said. "He's a tremendous offensive weapon when he's out there making plays. He's scored some big goals in the playoffs. It's fun to see him so excited. We're just trying to follow suit. I'm not sure we can keep up with him offensively, but we're trying to do the best we can."
Ovechkin could have easily gotten away from his game after taking only five shifts in the second period, a product of both a double minor the Caps had to kill off and the fact his ice time gets cut significantly in favor of the more defensive-minded forwards when Washington has the lead.
"He had a lot of energy," Caps coach Dale Hunter said. "He blocked shots. He didn't get much ice because all of the (penalty) kills, but he's already ready when he's called upon. He played a good game tonight."
As big of name Ovechkin is around the sport, the name "Beagle" has been uttered nearly as much this series.
The Capitals were without Jay Beagle, a trivial absence one would have thought a few weeks ago. That's before the Beagle, a defensive-minded center who's won 54 percent of his faceoffs this postseason, became one of Washington's ice-time leaders, and he's logged more time than bigger-name forwards like Alex Semin, Chimera and Ward.
It was Beagle's replacement, Jeff Halpern, who gave the Rangers a chance to hop back into contention a minute after Chimera made it 2-0 in the second period. Halpern caught Rangers forward John Mitchell on the bridge of his nose with a high stick that drew blood. The result was a double minor, but the Rangers tossed only three shots on net and the best scoring chance during the four-minute span came on a shorthanded opportunity that Caps forward Marcus Johansson just missed converting on an odd-man rush.
"Sucked," Rangers coach Tortorella said of his team's inability to create chances on that power play. "It kills you. It sucked."
Ovechkin could be emerging from the "enigmatic" label he's come to be described at times in recent years. He was never going to be the vocal leader in the locker room or one who organizes off-ice functions for the team.
"I'm Ovechkin," the player affectionately known as "Ovi" would toss out in those early, carefree years when he turned into not only one of the league's most prolific scorers but popular players.
As his scoring touch declined and his team has struggled for stretches, the act wore thin -- especially when the dangerous hits he initiated resulted in suspensions. Ovechkin also wasn't much of a factor in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in the first round.
None of that will matter if "Ovi" plays a major role in getting the Caps to the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 1998.
"He's our leader," Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said. "He's our captain. He should be doing that out there. He got on the board early. He had a couple good body checks making sure his presence was known out there."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
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...
If you've been following the Washington Capitals through this year's Stanley Cup playoffs you're aware of the heroics they have had in net. Braden Hotlby has emerged and taken the playoffs by storm, giving the Washington Capitals something they haven't had in ages - reliability in net.
Where did Holtby come from? Perhaps more importantly, what will his remarkable...
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...
BAD IDEA COMMENTARY
Previewing the Rangers-Caps game, CBC's Ron MacLean likened what the players were facing to what first responders on 9/11 did.
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...
Joel Ward, the Washington Capitals hero from round 1 may have cost his team a trip to the Eastern Conference Final. With less than a minute left in regulation and leading the New York Rangers by one goal, the Washington Capitals looked as if they would edge out the Blueshirts and grab a 3-2 series lead last night at Madison Square Garden. But with 21.3 seconds left, Capitals...
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...
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:
Jay Beagle was absent from practice once more, not skating with his teammates as he continues to attempt to rehab a knee injury that he...
While last night was far from being Henrik Lundqvist's fault, an interesting trend is appearing as the Capitals seem to be targeting glove side high with their shots on the Rangers All Star goaltender.This was actually noted earlier in the week by Chuck Gormely of CSN Washington as he printed this quote from Capitals associate goalie coach Olie Kolzig..."You look at him...
CBC's Ron MacLean leads into last night's NY Rangers / Washington Capitals match by saying "it's crazy to compare" 911 first responders to hockey players...and then he goes crazy.
Every time you...
Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com
WASHINGTON – The Washington Capitals haven’t been to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1998. The New York Rangers haven’t been there since 1997. Thanks to another strong game from Capitals rookie goaltender Braden Holtby, the two teams will battle one more time for the right to face the New Jersey Devils in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Capitals received...
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, Teams of destiny create their own. It’s time for the Rangers to do that tonight. It’s time for the Rangers to lay down a Game 6 hammer on the Capitals and put an end to this conference semifinal.
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With their 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 6 at the Verizon Center tonight, the New York Rangers now have to prepare themselves for their second straight series with a Game 7 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
This should not come as a surprise given the way the Blueshirts played tonight. There was not enough urgency, some sloppy play in their own zone and overall...
As I mentioned in my previous blog, this is the attitude that the New York Rangers need to have going into tonight’s Game 6 against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
After winning a thrilling Game 5 in overtime on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1994. With...