Carroll County Times

NHL Playoffs: Caps-Rangers tied at 2

Rangers offense explodes for 4 goals again, New York ties the series at 2

Capitals drop two straight in New York


-- After taking a commanding 2-0 series lead against the New York Rangers in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup, the Washington Capitals now find themselves deadlocked and headed home for Game 5.

After scoring just one goal in the first two games in D.C., the Rangers' offense clicked back home in New York, scoring eight total goals in Games 3 and 4.


The Rangers took both games in front of their home crowd at Madison Square Garden, winning each with identical 4-3 scores.

The Capitals now find itself in a must-win Game 5, 7:30 p.m. Friday. The only positive Washington has is they are going home for Game 5 to play in front of Rock the Red nation.

Power play cripples Caps

The Rangers have had a total of ten power play opportunities in Games 3 and 4, scoring on one in each of Games 3 and 4.

It's clear the penalties have been hurting the Capitals.

Jason Chimera's penalty after the second period in Game 4 gave the Blueshirts a man up opportunity to start the third.

And the Rangers made it stick.

Defenseman Dan Girardi scored his first goal of the series, giving the Rangers the 3-2 advantage. Just more than five minutes later Derek Stepan scored on an assist from Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan, and Lundqvist made it stand up.


A Karl Alzner goal cut the Rangers lead in half, though the Capitals couldn't get another goal.

Stepan has scored the game-winner in both games in New York.

You can not give a good team that many power play opportunities.

Vanishing defense

The Capitals must stop the Rangers from getting so many shots on goal to tip the series back in Washington's favor, but right now the all-important momentum is with the Rangers.

Goaltender Braden Holtby has let up eight goals in the last two losses for Washington after letting just one puck past him in the first two games.


Ovechkin must play better in Game 5. The captain has posted just three shots on goal in games 3 and 4. The Capitals need more out of the Great 8, especially after dropping two straight.

Things were all good just a week ago

The stars have stepped up for the Rangers in bringing them back in the series. Carl Hagelin has two goals and two assists, captain Ryan Callahan played much better in New York and Derick Brassard leads the Rangers with five points.

On the other side, the Capitals aren't getting much from its blueliners. While Mike Green is playing solid puck, four points, they need more production out of Nicklas Backstrom, two points, Troy Brouwer and Mike Ribeiro, one point each. Those three must play better if the Capitals will turn the series around and take Game 5.