WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash felt strong and fast in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, his first game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 and his fifth career NHL postseason game.
The problem is Nash's 16 shot attempts, including eight on goal, didn't equate to anything tangible for the Rangers, who lost to the Washington Capitals 3-1 and fell behind 1-0 in the best-of-7 series.
"I thought I had some good opportunities but they didn't go in," said Nash, who is now 0-5 in the playoffs dating to 2009, when his Columbus Blue Jackets were swept in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings. "That's the difference. In big games you've got to bear down and make sure you score on your opportunities."
Nash's game sort of epitomized how the Rangers played. They had chances but couldn't bury them and got suckered into too many shots from the outside that the Capitals found ways to block.
Five of Nash's 16 shot attempts were blocked. Washington blocked a total of 25 shots.
"You've got to work for that right angle, make sure the shin pads are out of the way so you get a good shot on net," Nash said.
His best chance came after the Capitals finished killing a Rangers 5-on-3 power play in the second period. New York still had a man-advantage when Nash made a power move to get to the front of the net but couldn't get much power on his backhand shot attempt and wound up putting it right into the chest of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.
"I think once I pulled it I was standing up straight so I couldn't get very good wood on it," Nash said. "He made a good save too."