The Capitals and Rangers have been playing tight, defensive hockey through the first three games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, and while Washington doesn’t want to stray from its game plan, it has acknowledged a need to get more shots on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Getting pucks through to Lundqvist will be a focal point for Game 4.
“It’s a tight defensive game out there,” Caps forward Jason Arnott said. “It’s hard to get to him, it’s hard to get shots on net.”
The Caps had success in the first three games of the series when they threw pucks toward the net and made something happen near the crease.
“We should definitely concentrate on getting closer,” forward Matt Hendricks said, “getting gritty goals in the paint.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday that Ovechkin in particular needs to find a way to get more shots on Lundqvist, and avoid the Rangers defensemen who have been successful blocking shots.
Ovechkin, whose 367 shots during the regular season were 160 more than anybody else on the team, has only three shots in the last two games, and his only shot in Game 3 was the tip-in goal.
“I mean he’s got to find a way to get it through,” Boudreau said. “He knows they’re going down to block them so, I don’t know, avoid it somehow.”