The Capitals’ penalty kill extinguished 19 of the Rangers’ 20 power-play opportunities in the series, including both shorthanded situations it faced in Game 5. New York’s power play finished the season 2 for 47 in its final 14 games.
“I think it was timely saves” by Michal Neuvirth, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But I think it was two other things: Our penalty killers did a tremendous job blocking shots when they had to, and on faceoffs [Boyd Gordon] and [Brooks Laich] or who ever started the penalty kill, they were winning faceoffs all the time.”
Boudreau also credited assistant coaches Dean Evason and Bob Woods for their roles in preparing the unit through video sessions and practice.
Ovechkin plays right wing again
After scoring the game-winning goal in the second period, Alex Ovechkin might continue to play right wing, instead lining up in his usual spot on the left side. On his goal, the Capitals’ captain took a stretch pass from teammate Scott Hannan, blasted around Rangers defenseman Marc Staal on the right before flicking a backhander into the net.
“I like him on that side,” Boudreau said. “If can play that side, and starts to enjoy that side, then you can move him to the left side whenever you want. It makes it harder for other teams to put [their top] defensive pair against him.”
Ovechkin added: “Right now it doesn’t matter where I’m going to play. If it works and the team gets success, I’m going to play right wing.”