12:30 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: NBC | Radio: 1500 AM
Series is tied at 2.
Updates are in reverse-chronological order.
End regulation: Caps win, 3-2, to tie up their Eastern Conference semifinal with the Rangers at two games apiece. The series shifts to New York on Monday for Game 5. Holtby finishes with 18 saves; Lundqvist 23.
Also, you’re not supposed to cheer in the pressbox, but ending a game in 60 minutes is cause for a little celebration by all.
We’ll have more to come on the game, Ovechkin’s performance and more, so stay tuned.
18:31 3rd: Fans chanting “HOLT-BY” and Carlson gives the Caps’ netminder a pat on the back.
14:12 3rd: That was quick. Green blasts a perfect slapshot past Lundqvist from the top of the right circle to put Caps up 3-2. Three of the four Young Guns have scored today. This is exactly what the Caps needed from their top players.
13:45 3rd: Hagelin slashes Carlson and Caps go to the power play.
11:10 3rd: Great stat here from Tarik: Joel Ward has five points in 11 playoff games for Caps. Same amount he had in his final 27 games of regular season.
6:36 3rd: Backstrom nearly scores his second of the game on a breakaway but Lundqvist is again the difference, coming up big with a pad save. Caps up 23-15 in shots.
4:46 3rd: Knuble crashes the net and Bickel pushes him in; fans want a goal but reviews don’t show the puck crossing the line at any point.
2:56 3rd: Henrik Lundqvist stops a puck with his head and it knocks the strap off. Rangers equipment staff fixes it up with some Scotch tape.
2nd int, Neil: Washington didn’t get their first scoring chance until 8 minutes to go in second period, but then rattled off four straight, including the go-ahead goal by Backstrom (which was a beauty of a sequence).
Rangers would get theirs, a goal by Gaborik at 16:43 to tie it up.
Chances now Washington 11, New York 6 through two periods with Semin leading all skaters with four.
Through 10 playoff games this season, Caps have scored five goals in third period while giving up eight. New York has scored six and let in six against in third periods this postseason.
16:43 2nd: Rangers tie it again, after Anisimov cancels out an icing call, feeding it to Gaborik from behind the net. 2-2 now. Wideman and Schultz seemed to have a miscommunication and Anisimov beat them to the puck. That’s now a -6 in the playoffs for Schultz and -7 for Wideman, 338 and 339 respectively out of 340 players.
12:17 2nd: Ovechkin leaves his feet for a monster hit on Girardi, Caps are shorthanded again as the captain goes off for charging. Unclear whether he made contact with the Rangers defenseman’s head or not.
11:54 2nd: After starting the period off with some sloppy play, Caps finally take their first shot of the period, and then their second goes in. Backstrom put a big hit on Anisimov and then took on from Stralman before going right to the net. Caps up 2-1.
9:30 2nd: Ward goes off for holding and Caps’ PK gets to work.
9:10 2nd, Neil: Now it is the Caps who are struggling to get anything going. No scoring chances in first 10 minutes of second period. Rangers have four, including the tying goal by Anisimov.
6:27 2nd: Caps have yet to register a shot on goal this period. Rangers have three.
1:10 2nd: Anisimov knocks in a rebound past Holtby to tie the game early in the second. So much for Caps’ momentum. Game tied at 1 now.
1st int, Neil: Scoring chances as lopsided as shots with Washington up 5-2 after 20 minutes. Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each have two chances. Marcus Johansson has the other.
Best chance of the first period might have been John Mitchell on Holtby’s doorstep, but Holtbeast mode was activated.
End 1st: The Rangers just looked dead tired in that first frame. Shots are 14-3 Caps; Rangers lead 16-13 in hits. Fans here showing their approval after a strong 20 minutes for Washington.
12:43 1st: Ovechkin blast catches a piece of Lundqvist’s glove but bounces into the net after Laich and Johansson created the play with some solid forechecking along the boards. Caps up 1-0 — 43 seconds after the “O-VI” chants. Coincidence? (Yeah, but kind of a cool coincidence.)
The Caps are 5-1 when scoring first in these playoffs, for what it’s worth.
7:00 1st, Neil: Washington buzzing early, they have all four scoring chances of the game in the first 7 minutes of the opening period. Ovechkin has two of the four.
6:53 1st: Washington is outshooting New York 7-1. Also, a baby in front of me has a Mike Green fauxhawk.
4:25 1st: Caps looked good on the man advantage, but King Henrik looked better. Nice passes, quality shots, and four great saves by Lundqvist.
2:25 1st: Stralman called for interference and Caps’ power play gets a chance — not that it’s been too effective to this point; the unit is 1-for-10 this series and 4-for-29 in the playoffs.
12:30 p.m.: Caps game entertainment crew pays a nice tribute to the Beastie Boys/insult to the Rangers: Playing “Girls” when New York lineup is introduced.
12:16 p.m., Neil: Higher seed is 44-3 when they take a 3-1 game lead in the second round. Just one of those teams have pulled the upset since the lockout. Caps need this one. /obvious.
Also, good news: since 2000 Game 3s have the most games requiring multiple OTs (9) to decide the winner and Game 4s have the second least (4). Maybe my Metro ride home won’t be in jeopardy tonight?
12:11 p.m., Katie: After one game of uniting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the top line, Coach Dale Hunter has separated the two franchise pillars once again.
Backstrom shifts back to the second line with Jason Chimera and Alexander Semin while Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson will be centered by Brooks Laich.
Here is the Caps’ lineup:
11 a.m.: After two days to recover from Wednesday’s marathon triple-overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 3, the Caps get back to business today and try to tie up this series at two games apiece.
We’ll have live updates, including scoring chances from stats guru Neil Greenberg, once the puck drops. Stay tuned for lineups and more in a bit.