Instant analysis: Rangers-Capitals Game 2

Instant analysis: Rangers-Capitals Game 2
April 16, 2011, 2:47 am
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Friday, April 15, 2011, 10:54 p.m.
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By Ryan OHalloran
Staff WriterCSNwashington.com

A review of the Capitals 2-0 win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals:

Why the Capitals won: It was by no means a pretty game, but the Capitals seized a 2-0 series advantage by scoring two goals in less than two minutes early in the second period and then playing airtight defense the rest of the way. There were a couple of hiccups in the third period when the Rangers tried to generate some offense, but goalie Michal Neuvirth made some big saves.

The good: Neuvirth stopped all 22 New York shots for his first playoff shutout, further cementing his status as the Capitals top goalie for at least this series. The power play, 1-for-33 last year in the series against Montreal, broke through on Jason Arnotts man-advantage score in the second period. The penalty kill improved to 4-for-4 in the series. In the final 40 minutes, the Capitals allowed only nine shots on Neuvirth. Jason Chimera had a strong game with one goal, five shots and five hits. The Chimera-Marcus Johansson-Brooks Laich line was the Capitals best. Mike Green was eased off compared with Game 1, playing 16:27, second-fewest among the Capitals defenseman. The Capitals had 35 hits, led by six from Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals showed discipline by drawing two post-whistle penalties and not getting engaged with Sean Avery.

The bad: New York posted 13 first-period shots, and the Capitals first shot didnt come until six minutes into the game. Nicklas Backstrom was 4 of 9 on faceoffs. Mike Knuble missed an open net on a 2-on-1, short-handed break. The Rangers held plenty of zone time in the third period even though they didnt score. The Capitals first power play posted no shots.

Key moment: Leading 1-0, the Capitals used a fortuitous bounce to extend the lead, a huge goal against a team as offensively challenged as the Rangers. On the power play, Greens slap shot from the top of the circle was blocked by New York defenseman Matt Gilroy and ricocheted across the zone to Arnott, who one-timed a shot past Lundqvist for a 2-0 lead.

Key stat: 3-5. The Capitals series record all-time when they take a 2-0 advantage in games. The past two times, the Capitals have lost the series Pittsburgh in 2009 and Tampa Bay in 2003.

Capitals player of the game: Chimera. After an uneven Game 1, the winger was all over the ice in Game 2, scoring the Capitals first goal (the second of his postseason career), one of his team-high five shots on goal. He also had five hits.

Quote: We can enjoy it for 20 minutes, but then we have to keep going. Chimera on the victory.
Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.