3 p.m., Madison Square Garden
TV: NBC | Radio: 1500 AM
New York leads series, 1-0
Updates are in reverse-chronological order.
End regulation: That’ll do it for the Rangers, who take Game 1 from the Caps, 3-1, just 48 hours after beating Ottawa in seven.
Despite the loss it was a strong effort for the Caps — they hit at least four posts and had some good chances, but just weren’t able to overcome their few defensive miscues in a tight game (in what will no doubt be another tight series).
Much more to come in a bit on the game, Holtby vs. Lundqvist and that killer 90-second span, so stay tuned.
Official Neil Greenberg scoring chance update, end regulation: Final scoring chances were 19-9 in Washington favor. Ovechkin and Johansson led team with three each.
Caps can't seem to get both good puck possession and goaltending in same game.
17:52 3rd: Holtby comes off the ice as Caps make a final push here to climb back from a two-goal deficit.
12:20 3rd: Ovechkin heads to the box for a too many men penalty, shortly after MSG tells him in unison with exactly 8 minutes to go that he sucks. Fancy trollin’.
8:30 3rd: And exactly 90 seconds later, Brad Richards gets his third goal of the playoffs, sneaking past Holtby to give the Rangers a two-goal lead. Kreider gets the assist. 3-1 New York. And the fans at MSG, at course, are chanting “HOLT-BY.”
7:00 3rd: With Mike Green headed to the bench on a line change, rookie Chris Kreider blasts one by Holtby to put the Rangers up 2-1.
2:12 3rd: Ovechkin gets his first shot of the game, then Semin goes #BadSasha and takes his second ill-advised penalty of the game, tripping Stralman.
Official Neil Greenberg scoring chance update, 2nd intermission: Caps extend their lead in chances to 13-6 through two periods. Rangers have just two scoring chances that have not come within the first two minutes of a period.
Brouwer, Johansson, Semin and Knuble each have two chances. Ovechkin and Backstrom each have one.
End of 2nd: Jason Chimera scores over Lundqvist’s stick after a beauty of a saucer pass from Brooks Laich to tie the game at 1 with about 3 seconds to go.
That speedy line has been working well together — minus the fact the Ovechkin has been held without a single shot through 40 minutes (two blocked, one missed the net).
17:40 2nd: Ovechkin and Staal get into it in front of the Caps’ net after the whistle. Ovechkin paws him down easily. Shots are 11-8 Caps.
13:15 2nd: Marcus Johansson, driving to the net on a breakaway, gets taken down by Stralman and slams into Lundqvist. The puck goes in but it’s waved off, and no penalty.
12:38 2nd: Anisimov scores on a wrap-around, puts the Rangers up 1-0.
10:00 2nd: Rangers kill off the 5-on-3 and the crowd at MSG is really getting into it. I’m glad somebody is.
7:53 2nd: Caps get a 5-on-3 for 34 precious seconds as Prust goes off for boarding Wideman. This would be a big moment in a scoreless, low-shooting game. I believe it would.
6:26 2nd: Callahan with the lone shot of the period. Caps now go to the power play after Brouwer draws a holding call on Staal.
Official Neil Greenberg scoring chance update, intermission: Caps lead in chances 5-1. Rangers got their only chance in first two minutes then had to settle for shots from the outside. Caps didn't generate their first scoring chance until 12 min elapsed. Brouwer leads Washington with two chances.
End 1st: Shots on goal are 6-4 Caps, hits are 15-11 Rangers, game is scoreless. Ten shots total is to be expected, perhaps, the way these teams are throwing their bodies in front of pucks. More important, coffee is empty so I’ll be back.
17:54 1st: Rangers get their second power play, Ovechkin for tripping McDonagh after a takeaway.
16:00 1st: Knuble and Ward working hard in the crease but can’t manage to get the rebound past Lundqvist. Colleague Neil Greenberg says they now have had four scoring chances in 2 minutes after none through the first 13.
14:37 1st: Caps took four shots on that power play but leave with nothing to show for it, except a Ovechkin breaking his stick on a one-timer.
12:55 1st: Backstrom rings one off the post.
12:16 1st: Hendricks helps the Caps finally apply some pressure in the offensive zone and draws a penalty in the process, Staal for interference. Might be a good time for Lundqvist to have to face some shots.
7:56 1st: Through nearly eight minutes of the first period the Caps have mustered just a single shot — by a defenseman, Alzner. Rangers have fired three on Holtby but they’ve been solid chances. They’re also spending a lot of time in the crease, looking for deflections and opportunities to get under Holtby’s skin.
3:50 1st: Caps draw the first power play of the game, Rupp for goalie interference on Holtby, but they only get it for 27 seconds as Semin takes a very Semin-like slash at Callahan’s leg.
3:00 1st: Forget everything below. Looks like Dale Hunter is trying to play some mind games with the Blueshirts. Here’s how the Caps’ lines look after the first few shifts:
2:47 p.m.: Here’s the Caps’ lineup for Game 1:
1:30 p.m.: In less than two hours, Washington begins the second leg of its playoff campaign. The Caps may have faced (and beaten) the Rangers in three of the last four postseasons, but it’s a little different this time around: the Caps are the underdogs, they’ve got a hot goalie, and they’ve been grinding out wins through team defense. The top-seeded Rangers, though, still also have a hot goalie — and they’ve been one of the best teams in the East all season.
Much more to come in a bit, but for now, check out some reading material to pass the time:
— Caps have plenty of self-assurance
— Capitals-Rangers: Key matchups
— Wise: Undermining the milestone moment
— As a No. 7 seed, Caps looking for a first
— Jay Beagle’s diary: Back to business
— History says it could boom or bust for Caps