Ovechkin, Green can't find the net

Ovechkin, Green can't find the net
May 9, 2013, 9:45 am
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Ovi: In our house, in front of our fans, things will be different

Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals return to Kettler Capitals Iceplex today at 11:30 a.m. following their 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers Wednesday night at MadisonSquareGarden, which evened the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at two wins apiece:

What the Caps are saying: “"It's a three-game series now. It's the same. We still have home-ice advantage. We knew it was going to be a tough series. We learned last year that this team that we're playing doesn't give up and we don't either. Coming in, we didn't care how many games it took to win as long as we win four out of seven." – goaltender Braden Holtby

What the Rangers are saying: “One thing I like about our team the past couple of games is that we certainly have bent at times but didn’t break. I think our resiliency has really shown in these past two games and we are going to need that when we go toWashington. They are going to surge there and we just need to find a way to keep our heads above water and find a way to win a game.” – coach John Tortorella

By the numbers: The Rangers outhit the Caps 38-20 and were credited with 33 blocked shots in Game 4. The Rangers also won 64 percent of their faceoffs, led by Brian Boyle [11-for-16] and Derick Brassard [8-for-9]. Capitals centers Mike Ribeiro [2-for-11] and Mathieu Perreault [3-for-10] had a rough night in the faceoff circles.

Moving on up: With Wednesday’s win, Rangers coach John Tortorella moved into a tie with Mike Keenan for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time playoff list with 16 wins.

Ovi watch: In his first two games of the series Alex Ovechkin had one goal, one assist, 12 shots and was a plus-1. In his last two games he’s had no points, three shots and is a minus-2. In their last 11 playoff games against the Rangers, the Caps are 4-0 when Ovechkin scores a goal and 1-6 when he doesn’t.

Here’s why: The Rangers’ top defensive pair of Dan Girardi [19] and Ryan McDonagh [9] have combined to block 28 shots in their first four games against the Caps.

Missing the mark: Through four games, Alex Ovechkin has had 15 shots on goal, 15 shots blocked and eight miss the net. Mike Green has had 12 shots on goal, 12 shots blocked and 11 miss the net. Combined, that means 27 of the 73 shots taken by Ovechkin and Green have made it to the net and three of those 27 shots have beaten Henrik Lundqvist.

Stepping up: Rangers forward Derek Stepan had zero game-winning goals in his first 27 career playoff games, but has netted the winner in each of New York’s last two games. He is the first Rangers player to score the winning goal in consecutive playoff games since 1997, when Adam Graves did it in Games 4 and 5 against the Devils.

Haggling Hagelin: Carl Hagelin’ s three-point night [1 goal, 2 assists] in Game 4 was a career high. He also had four shots on goal and a plus-three rating in 16:14 of ice time.

The other Derick: Rangers forward Derick Brassard has five points (one goal, four assists) in the last two games.