4:45 pm — I’ll have a full recap and a Game 7 preview later on…but this one is in the books and it’s a 5-3 Caps win at The Garden that puts Washington and New York back to the Verizon Center for a Game 7 finale on Tuesday night. Party is at Silver Spring Mining Company in Perry Hall. We’ll have Michelob Ultra specials. Game starts at 7. Come and rock your red!
4:15 pm — Washington just allowed a 5-on-3 power play goal to Ryan Callahan and it’s 5-2 in favor of the Caps with 15 minutes to play. It’s been an uneven start to the final period for Washington, as they look like they’re not really interested in playing hard to close out the game. The Rangers remain on the power play (5-on-4) and a goal here suddenly makes this thing a game again.
3:50 pm — Barring a miracle of all miracles, the Washington Capitals – for the 2nd straight year – will host Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin’s power play goal on a deflection of a Tom Poti slapper has put the Caps up 5-1 with two minutes to go in the 2nd period. It’s been ALL Washington since midway through the 2nd period. The Rangers will likely yank Henrik Lundqvist at the end of the period (for the second straight game) and save him for the 7th game finale on Tuesday night in DC.
3:30 pm — The Caps are a goal away from blowing this one WIDE open. It’s now 4-1 Washington after a Viktor Kozlov goal just minutes ago. If Washington goes up 5-1, will fill-in coach Jim Schoenfeld “rest” King Lundqvist and insert Steve Laviquette to mop up the final period? Game 7 would be Tuesday night in Washington.
2:58 pm — Period #1 in the books from The Garden and Washington leads, 3-1. Both teams have been somewhat sloppy controlling the puck, particularly in their own defensive end…The Caps like this kind of game. It’s setting up to be one of thos six or seven goal games (combined) and that favors Washington. 40 minutes of hockey from Game 7.
2:56 pm — A textbook 3-on-1 by the Caps after a Tom Poti penalty resulted in a goal by Poti and the Caps are off to a glorious start at The Garden with a 3-1 first period lead. All three Washington goals (Jurcina, Green and Poti) have come from defensive players.
2:48 pm — After 31 goals in the regular season, Mike Green finally netted a post-season goal, scoring on the power play to put Washington up 2-1. That’s important for a number of reasons…it not only puts the Caps ahead and gives Green that elusive goal…but it came on the power play…their first extra-man tally in forever.
2:46 pm — Washington’s on the power play but they almost surrendered a shorthanded goal because Alexander Semin coughed up the puck in his end. Moments later, though, Semin carried the puck into the Rangers end, dropped it for Alex Ovechkin, and The Great 8 had a nice chance that was stopped by Lundqvist. Still 1-1.
2:41 pm — Disgraceful. No other way to say it, really. That Donald Brashear hit was uncalled for and he should be suspended for it. I say that because if Sean Avery did that I’d be calling for his head, too. They’re skating 4-on-4 right now but the Caps are lucky the refs didn’t see the Brashear hit on Betts. Mike Emerick just noted the Rangers have as many shots so far (8) as they had in two periods on Friday night in DC. I’ll admit it: the start of this game worries me…New York has a lot of energy and clearly have “their legs”…Caps look a little overwhelmed.
2:36 pm — A bad double-team on the penalty kill by Thomas Fleischmann and Tom Poti contributed to NY’s tying goal as Scott Gomez tipped in a shot from the point to tie the game at 1-1. Just after that goal, Varlamov had to make a terrific close-range save or the Rangers would be ahead. Washington’s not playing very well defensively thus far…they’ve surrendered three or four scoring opportunities.
2:35 pm — Outstanding pressure from Washington in the Rangers’ end kept the puck alive and Milan Jurcina scored his first-ever playoff goal to put the Caps up 1-0. NY, however, is now on the power play.
2:30 pm — Good chances at both ends in the last minute…Ovechkin with a swipe from 10-feet out that a screened Lundqvist had to fight off and then Brandon Dubinsky skated in and tried a dipsy-doo move on Varlamov but the rookie didn’t budge — and it’s still 0-0. New York has already generated more quality offensive chances 7 minutes into the game then they did in periods 1 and 2 in Washington on Friday.
2:27 pm — The good news is the Caps look fresh and ready to play. Bad news: So do the Rangers. It’s 0-0 5 minutes into the game and both teams have had “decent” scoring chances so far with no results.
2:21 pm — Brooks Laich with a great scoring chance 25 seconds into the game and Lundqvist with a nice save. Washington needs to get ahead and make the Rangers woeful offense come to them.
2:20 pm — Sean Avery is back for New York. And they’re underway at MSG as the Caps need a win today or their season is over.