Instant analysis: Capitals-Rangers Game 3

Instant analysis: Capitals-Rangers Game 3
April 17, 2011, 11:19 pm
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Sunday, April 17, 2011, 7:18 p.m.

GAME 4: AT NEW YORK, WEDNESDAY, 7 P.M., CSN

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff WriterCSNwashington.com

NEW YORK A review of the Capitals 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals:

Why the Capitals lost: Penalties and a bad break. The Capitals committed eight penalties, including a stretch of five consecutive infractions. And despite what coach Bruce Boudreau said, it wasnt for nonsense after the whistle the calls were interference, delay of game, hooking, cross checking, hooking, holding, tripping and roughing. Several big-minute Capitals forwards like Brooks Laich (5:37) and Marcus Johansson (2:15) had to expend energy on the penalty kill. Secondly, with 1:39 remaining, the Rangers won it when the puck deflected off Capitals defenseman Karl Alzners shoulder and into the goal.

The good: The trio of Scott Hannan, Boyd Gordon and Laich killed off 1 minute, 26 seconds of 5-on-3 play in the first period without leaving the ice or the puck leaving the Capitals zone. The Capitals killed all but one Rangers power play. The juggling of the top three forward lines midway through the game helped produce Alex Ovechkins goal (on a feed from center Jason Arnott). Goalie Michal Neuvirth turned away 32 of 35 shots, and none of the three goals were really his fault. In his third game back, Mike Green led the Capitals in ice time (22:52). The power-play goal to tie the score at 2 was well done crisp cross-ice pass, quick shot and a Mike Knuble-buried rebound. Boyd Gordon was 11-5 on faceoffs.

The bad: Obviously, the penalties threw off the Capitals offensive game and limited the ice time for Matt Bradley, Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks (all less than 10 minutes). The Capitals offense was in a rut for most of the game they had only 11 shots around the halfway point. Arnott went 4-15 in the faceoff circle. Young defensemen Karl Alzner (minus 2) and John Carlson (minus 1) will need to rebound. For several moments, no Capitals player intervened during a break when Rangers pest Sean Avery was circling around Neuvirth.

Key moment: Playing 4-on-4, Dubinsky won the puck in the corner and stormed to the goal instead of going around the net. The puck bounced in the air, deflected off the shoulder of Alzner and in with 1:39 remaining.

Key stat: 16. Minutes in penalties (eight minors) for the Capitals. Washington had to kill seven penalties and allowed one goal.

Capitals player of the game: Scott Hannan. He was minus-1, but he played nearly 22 minutes (second most on the team) and his 5:55 of short-handed play led the Capitals. He also had three hits.

Quote: We got outworked tonight. The team that works the hardest is going to win the game. Its a pretty easy formula. We just have to do it. Capitals winger Matt Bradley.
Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.