Caps drilled in all-or-nothing Game 7

Caps drilled in all-or-nothing Game 7
May 13, 2013, 10:45 pm
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Capitals-Rangers game 7 highlights

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ season-ending 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers Monday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

How it happened: Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots and the Rangers received goals from Arron Asham Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Callahan and Mats Zuccarello, completing a comeback from a 3-2 series deficit.

What it means: The Rangers advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they’ll face the Boston Bruins, who pulled a miraculous comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs to score a 5-4 overtime win in their Game 7.

What it means for the Caps: Since Alex Ovechkin arrived in 2007 the Caps have won five division titles and have been to the playoffs six straight years but have never made it past the second round.

Game 7 troubles: The Capitals are now 3-9 all-time in Game Sevens and 2-5 since Ovechkin’s playoff arrival in 2008. Ovechkin has two goals and two assists in seven career Game Sevens.

Star power: The two teams’ biggest stars struggled throughout the series. Ovechkin was limited to one goal and one assist, while New York’s Rick Nash had just two assists.

King Hank: The Caps did everything but score in the first period. They generated 32 attempts at the net in the first 20 minutes – 13 were stopped by Lundqvist, 13 were blocked and six missed the net – but still entered the first intermission trailing by a goal.

Game changer: With 6:41 remaining in the first period Capitals defenseman Mike Green saw a clear path to the New York net and took it, only to be stopped by Lundqvist, who stopped a rebound attempt by Eric Fehr. The Rangers turned the puck the other way, with Chris Kreider feeding Asham for a shortside blast past Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby. The goal set the tone for the Rangers, who made it 3-0 on second-period goals by Pyatt and Del Zotto and never looked back.

Ovi’s start: Ovechkin was a beast in the opening 10 minutes, running over Rangers defenseman John Moore, Steve Eminger and Ryan McDonagh on one powerful shift. But the Caps’ top line of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backtrom and Marcus Johansson struggled in their own zone against Callahan and Company, icing the puck twice during a long stretch in the opening period.

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