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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Ovechkin keeps firing away

Thursday, 04.16.2009 / 1:38 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin had 28 shots at the net Wednesday night. Thirteen of them actually went on goal, but not one of them got past Henrik Lundqvist, including the three he put on the Rangers' goalie in the third period.

Other than the fact that Ovechkin didn't score a goal, it was a typical game for the NHL's leading shooter (528 during the regular season): Shoot early. Shoot often. Shoot no matter what the situation.

But after the game Ovechkin's linemate, Nicklas Backstrom, bemoaned the fact that maybe the Capitals' didn't get enough traffic in front of Lundqvist.

Sure, they had 35 shots on goal, but the Rangers did a good job of limiting second chances by keeping the Capitals on the perimeter -- save for when Washington was on the power play.

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said he'd have to see the game tape to see if there times the Caps should have had more bodies in front of Lundqvist. But he's aware that when Ovechkin is shooting, sometimes there isn't an opportunity for that to happen.

The Rangers also blocked 21 shots, including 10 of Ovechkin's attempts.

"We had 35 shots, but Lundqvist is such a good goalie that you have to get traffic in front," Boudreau said. "I don't know if we had the opportunity on some of them."

For the most part, though, Boudreau and Ovechkin were pleased with the Capitals' effort on the offensive side. It's the defensive side -- specifically the goaltending -- that figures to get a lot of attention in practice before Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.

"We didn't score on our chances," Ovechkin said. "I think we played well and I think we just have to play the same way, and try more responsibility in the neutral zone.

"It was an interesting game," he added. "Next game will be more interesting."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1