Carroll County Times

NHL Playoffs: Caps head to NY up 2-0

Holtby shuts out Rangers in Game 2 to lead the Caps to win.

Mike Green scores game-winner in overtime


-- The Washington Capitals seized a 2-0 lead against the New York Rangers in its best-of-seven first round playoff series after a 1-0 overtime win Saturday at the Verizon Center.

Defenseman Mike Green tallied the winning goal with a slapshot that beat Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.


Braden Holtby again led the Caps, pitching the shutout with 24 saves.

The Capitals now head to New York for Game 3 Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Holtby shines in net

Holtby has yet to allow a goal from a Rangers stick. The sole goal came off the skate of defenseman John Erskine in the first period of Game 1 and nothing has gotten past Holtby since.

Through the first two games Holtby has 59 saves with a .983 save percentage. The 23-year-old Saskatchewan native is outdueling Lundqvist, a Vezina trophy-winner, who has posted a 1.90 goals against average through the series first two games in Washington.

Holtby has been hot on the Capitals home ice, though his biggest challenge awaits him at the unfriendly confines of The Garden.

Where's the offense?

The Rangers may get a much-needed boost Monday night if winger Ryane Clowe, who came over in a mid-season trade with San Jose, returns to the lineup.


The Rangers aren't getting much from any of the big names. Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Brad Richards have all gone scoreless, and Ryan Callahan, 1 assist, will have to give the Rangers' offense more in Game 3 if they hope to extend the series back to Washington.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has led the team with 12 shots on goal through the first two games and has left his imprint all over the ice. His intensity has set the tone for the rest of the Caps, though Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer, who are playing solid, will need to give coach Adam Oates a little more out on the ice if the Capitals are going to take Game 3 in New York, where the Rangers will come out inspired in front of its home crowd.

The penalty kill

The Capitals penalty kill unit has been stellar, keeping the Rangers scoreless on seven power play opportunities, while the Capitals have scored two on the man up, including Saturday's game-winner by Green.

Game 3 may again come down to which team executes on the power play.



This Capitals team seem ready these playoffs and look determined to avoid another postseason letdown. With Holtby's hot play in net, anything is possible for the Caps. A win in Game 3 will be huge for Rock the Red nation. Capitals - 4 Rangers - 2