Alex Ovechkin Leads Caps to 1-0 Series Lead over Rangers
Sports fans in the nation's capital get to watch young stars in all four major sports, but their best of all is Alex Ovechkin, who was prevented from joining 10 Hall of Famers as the only players to score 50 goals in five different NHL regular seasons only by a shortened season this year that left him with a league-high 32 goals in just 48 games (on pace for 55 goals).
He rallied the Caps Thursday by starting a three-goal second period with a pass into the zone, which resulted in Ovechkin hammering home a rebound to tie the game, which the Caps eventually won 3-1.
The Rangers were leading 1-0, but Ovechkin came up the left side of the rink and fired a diagonal pass across to the right of the net. While his Caps teammates passed around a tightly drawn-in Rangers defense designed to prevent rebounds, Ovechkin cruised back and forth to the left of the net.
With the short-handed Rangers allowing passes, Mike Green then lined up an apparent slapshot, but seemed to deliberately fire it left of the goal rather than give Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist a chance at a save. The puck hit off the backboard and Ovechkin put a perfect wrist shot over Lundqvist to tie the score 1-1 on his 31st playoff goal.
The real key to the dominant second period for the Capitals occurred a few minutes later, however, when the Rangers had a 5-on-3 power plays on a boarding call 9:40 into the period by Martin Erat, and then a scrum that led to two penalties on the Caps and one on the Rangers to give the Rangers a two-man advantage.
The Caps were able to kill the 2:54 powerplay advantage and keep the score tied 1-1, and then take over the game.
Less than two minutes after the power play was killed off, Johansson put in a wrist shot to make it 2-1, and less than a minute after that Chimera put in a wrist shot 15:07 into the second period to provide the 3-1 margin that would hold up through a scoreless third period.