Alex Ovechkin found twine for a franchise-record 31st time in the playoffs on Thursday night. (WP)
The Washington Capitals won game one of their 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers on Thursday night by a 3-1 score inside a trembling Verizon Center. Despite a start that saw them dominate play but not convert and then allow New York to grab a lead, the Caps and Braden Holtby dug in their heels and got a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin followed by markers from Marcus Johansson and then Jason Chimera to take a 3-1 lead in the second period. Holtby finished the game with 35 stops, several of them spectacular, to get the Caps that critical first game, something they did not do last postseason. It was a scintillating opening for what is sure to be an awesome series.
The Capitals absolutely dominated the opening stages of the game, but were stopped time and time again by the stellar play of Henrik Lundqvist in the Ranger net. Their failure in converting those early chances allowed New York to seize the momentum with a 7-0 run on shots, which concluded in the first goal of the game and really deflated the arena and Washington’s offensive motor. Regardless of the outcome, Lundqvist’s talent and the Rangers’ system make it imperative that the Caps capitalize on their early chances if they are going to win this series. It is simply a necessity. You cannot waste chances, especially power play chances, in the playoffs and expect to win a seven game series. It's a moot point because of the victory tonight, but it's something to consider.no comments