7:30 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: NBCSN | Radio: 1500 AM
Rangers lead series, 2-1
Updates are in reverse-chronological order.
14:41 3OT: Gaborik rings one off the post — and makes up for it shortly thereafter when he wins it off a feed from Brad Richards to end the game.
Gotta run now and try to make some newspapers. More to come tonight and tomorow morning.
6:00 3OT Holtby is still awake! Just made a beauty of a glove save on Prust.
2:35 3OT: Caps go to the PK as Mike Green is called for hooking.
Neil scoring chance update: All Rangers in the second OT. They had zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sorry, fell asleep - past my bedtime. Rangers had seven chances, Caps had three. Best news all night (so far): Metro is running until 1 a.m. so I don’t need to ask any of you for a ride home.
End 2OT: And we head to a third overtime. Playoff hockey! The only person who still has a shot at deadline is Slava Malamud of Russia’s Sport-Express — 4 a.m.
13:00 2OT: One of the refs just slipped and fell, and a handful of players have too. Verizon Center ice not so good tonight.
4:26 2OT: Brian Boyle just blocked a shot with his backside. That was some Matrix-like move right there.
4:00 2OT: Caps-Rangers now officially the longest game of the playoffs; Backstrom’s goal nearly 3 minutes into the second overtime of Game 2 vs. the Bruins was the longest before that.
Neil scoring chance upate: Best chance of the night came courtesy of Ovechkin, who hit the crossbar so hard it tilted the goalie light. Chances were 5-2 in Caps favor in the first OT, making it 17-12 for the game so far. Someone let Metro know I am going to be a little late.
End 1st OT: One down, how many to go? Is this too pessimistic?
19:00 OT: Holtby just withstands a series of Rangers shots and his poor mom is going bonkers in the stands. Somebody get the smelling salts ready.
17:32 OT: Semin to the box for tripping Callahan. With two and a half minutes to go in the first OT. Ouch.
15:05 OT: Lights come on and the goal horn blares as Ovechkin...hits the post. That was almost a DAGGER!!!!, in the words of Steve Buckhantz.
4:30 OT: Hendricks with what appears to be a clean hit completely blows up — blows up — McDonagh and sets up Brouwer with a great chance, but he misses the net.
Neil scoring chance update: Stingy period on both sides. Chances were tied 3-3 with Hendricks getting another one, his team leading third of the night.
Speaking of Hendricks, he has got to be player of the game, right? He has more shots on goal (6) than Backstrom (2), Semin (2) and Johansson (1) combined plus has been credited with eight hits.
End regulation: It’s been two games, so I guess we’re due for overtime.
18:15 3rd: Caps get a bunch of good chances on the power play but Rangers PK unit blocks shots like there’s no tomorrow, or at least like they don't have to play again ‘til Saturday.
16:12 3rd: Caps get a bit of a make-up call here, will go to 4-on-4 for 13 seconds and then have a power play as Richards goes to the box for tripping Hamrlik.
14:25 3rd: Knuble is called for goalie interference. Tough break for the Caps in the third period of a tied game.
12:30 3rd: Wideman sets up Johansson with a nice cross-ice pass for a great chance, but Mojo forgets where the net is...or something.
8:53 3rd, scoring chance update from Neil: Hendricks leads the team in scoring chances with three. No other WSH skater has more than one.
4:19 3rd: Puck goes over the glass on Staal’s clearing attempt and fans are angry there’s no delay of game penalty to Rangers.
Neil scoring chance update, end 2nd: Rangers put 12 shots on net in the second, but the only scoring chance they mustered was Callahan’s goal. Washington, meanwhile, created six chances including a no-look goal by Carlson that could only be scored using Jedi powers. Hendricks had two to start the period and Ovechkin created his first scoring chance of the game with 10:20 left in the second frame.
Chances are Washington nine, New York seven through 40 minutes.
14:59 2nd: Lundqvist stones Laich on a 3-on-1. Shots are 21-20 Rangers, but Caps definitely have the momentum right now and are controlling play like they did in the first.
11:50 2nd: Callahan goes off for slashing and Caps get their second man advantage of the game.
11:10 2nd: John Carlson weaves through traffic and scores top shelf on Lundqvist a beautiful snipe. Caps tie it, 1-1.
9:17 2nd: Rangers have taken charge here in the second period, with seven shots to the Caps’ one.
6:41 2nd: With Laich off for hooking, Del Zotto shot bounces off Carlson’s skate, Hendricks, then next to Callahan, who swats it in. Rangers take 1-0 lead.
5:08 2nd: Caps call timeout after icing. Rangers look like they have a little more energy to start this period; shots are 14-14.
Neil scoring chance update, end 1st: Rangers lead the Caps in chances 6-3 despite Washington having the only PP of the period. Semin had a hand in two of those chances within the period’s first three minutes, including a nifty 2-on-1 with Chimera. Sasha’s QualCare/60 high tonight, could be difference maker.
End 1st: No score after 20 minutes but the Caps have the advantage in terms of energy, pressure and shots on goal (13-10).
16:52 1st: Caps go to the power play, Staal for a slash on Laich.
8:00 1st: Caps fans attempt some payback for the MSG “Ovi sucks” chant at the 8 minute mark, chanting “O-VI," but I’m not sure everybody got the memo. Also, kind of sounded like Holtby. But there’s always Game 4.
7:03 1st: Caps have really come out to play tonight, pressing hard in the early part of this frame. They’re controlling the tempo and lead 5-2 on shots.
3:14 1st: Semin and Chimera get a good chance on a 2-on-1 but Lundqvist makes the stop on Chimera. Shots are 3-1 Caps.
7:10 p.m.: Caps lineup in warmups is the same as it was in practice this morning: Ovechkin and Backstrom together again -- at least for the start.
6:30 p.m.: Greetings from Verizon Center, where the Caps are hoping that home ice advantage will help them take the lead tonight in this Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers. Helping that cause may be the reunion of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin on the top line. Coach Dale Hunter has shown in these playoffs that he’s willing to change things up even from warmups, so we’ll see once the puck drops.
Be back in a bit with the Caps’ lines and more, including some scoring chance updates from resident stats geek Neil Greenberg as usual, so stay tuned.