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Rangers vs Capitals - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals

Tortorella holds scrum with media Sunday

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After addressing the media for all of 27 seconds and using only 15 words after losing 3-2 in Game 4 Saturday, Rangers coach John Tortorella was a bit more chatty Sunday at the team's suburban training facility.

Tortorella spoke to the media for more than five minutes and handled 11 questions.

He talked about trying to get pucks through to the net against the Capitals, who have blocked 105 shots through the first four games of the Eastern Conference Semifinal-round series. He discussed Chris Kreider's lack of ice time in the third period Saturday. He also gave a bit of feedback on the play of Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin.

Here is the full transcript of Tortorella's chat with the media Sunday:

There has been a lot of talk about them blocking shots. How do you get around that?

"There are all different types of situations that occur during a game. There's a lot of different things you can do, it depends on what is in front of you. We had the puck a lot (Saturday), but as far as getting good, quality scoring chances, I don't think we developed enough."

Ovechkin, Girardi have different views on hit

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Dan Girardi felt his head was the principal point of contact. Alex Ovechkin said he hit shoulder first.

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 7
SOG: 45 | +/-: -2
Those were their stances after Ovechkin was called for charging Girardi with 7:43 left in the second period during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a 3-2 victory for the Caps that evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Washington's Brooks Laich carried the puck into the Rangers zone and lost control of it. The puck squirted toward Ovechkin, who skated it and delivered the blow to Girardi.

Girardi was able to stay in the game, but he wasn't happy with the hit afterward.

Rangers pay a price for slow start

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The slow start didn't seal the Rangers' fate Saturday afternoon, but it certainly didn't help their cause.

Coming off a physically and mentally draining triple-overtime victory in Game 3 on Wednesday, the Rangers were overwhelmed in the first period of Game 4. The Capitals left the first 20 minutes with a one-goal lead and a 14-3 advantage in shots.

The game was tied late in the third period and Caps defenseman Mike Green won it with a power-play goal with 5:48 remaining to even the Eastern Conference Semifinal series at 2-2. But perhaps without that lackluster first 20 minutes, the outcome would've been different for the Rangers.

Caps fans find Washington oasis in heart of Big Apple

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Capitals fans in NYC's East Village love Standings Bar. (Courtesy: Tal Pinchevsky)

NEW YORK -- In a New York sports bar, Capitals fans find a home.

On its surface, Standings Bar is any New York sports fan's paradise. Quaintly tucked in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood, it features eight HDTVs on the wall to go along with the banners, posters, and even bobbleheads hanging from every conceivable angle. But there is one thing New York sports fans might not appreciate -- at least during the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinal between the Rangers and Capitals.

"For hockey in particular, we've been attracting a lot of Washington Capitals fans," said Gary Gillis, who opened Standings in 2005. "A lot of our patrons who were Washington Capitals fans started coming here for their games and started spreading the word among their friends and things kind of took off from there. Pretty much every Capitals game we get a lot of people here."

Triple overtime had Rangers, Caps going bananas

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Rangers and Capitals wasn't just bananas -- it required them to help keep the players from collapsing.

"I think I had like five bananas and a lot of Gatorade," said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who played 49:34 in the Rangers' 2-1 triple-overtime victory at Verizon Center that gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. "I had salts and things like that just to make sure your muscles don't cramp up."

"We're eating, we're hydrating," Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. "You have fruit, you have white rice with soy sauce. You got a little bit of everything. It's just do whatever you need to do. A lot of guys were taping sticks, changing gear. Everything's really getting wet and heavy and you want to get a cool-down somehow."

Gaborik, McDonagh stand tall in marathon victory

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- There's no way what unfolded in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was what New York Rangers general manager/president Glen Sather had in mind when he pulled the trigger on a trade nearly three years ago, but that deal had a direct effect on the outcome of Wednesday's contest.

On June 30, 2009, Sather sent center Scott Gomez, who had five years and $33.5 million left on his contract, and forward Tom Pyatt to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for 20-year-old defense prospect Ryan McDonagh and forward Christopher Higgins.

By getting the contract of Gomez of the books, Sather was able to sign free-agent forward Marian Gaborik to a five-year, $37.5 contract the following day.

Capitals need to regroup after heartbreaking loss

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The commitment was there from the Capitals from the drop of the puck on the opening faceoff Wednesday night to the moment when Marian Gaborik won Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in triple overtime early Thursday morning.

Braden Holtby
Goalie - WSH
RECORD: 5-5-3
GAA: 1.94 | SVP: 0.935
The Capitals paid the price, blocking 40 shots over the course of 114:41, the third-longest game in franchise history, but it was enough in a 2-1 loss that left the Caps in a 2-1 hole in their best-of-seven series with the Rangers.

That was the stark reality the Capitals had to face in the aftermath of the defeat.

"It's tough," said Matt Hendricks, who delivered a game-high 11 hits. "You invest a lot every night, no matter what, if it's a 60-minute game or an extended overtime. When you extend into overtime you are investing more and more and you are putting everything you've got into it. Unfortunately, we didn't win tonight, but we can't let that bother us. We just need to get prepared for the next one."

Gaborik struggling to find his form

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer


Marian Gaborik has had a disappointing nine games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After a 41-goal, 76-point regular season, the 30-year-old sniper has been virtually invisible during the postseason.

Gaborik scored a goal during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators, and hasn't had one since. He registered an assist in Game 2 of the conference semifinals against the Washington Capitals, his only other point at five-on-five in the postseason.

During the regular season, Gaborik had 276 shots in 82 games, an average of 3.37 per game. In the postseason, though, he's only put 16 shots on net, an average of 1.78 per game.

Foot soldiers taking center stage in Caps' playoff run

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Jason Chimera
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 13 | +/-: 2

NEW YORK -- When the Washington Capitals began the process of taking down the defending Stanley Cup champions in the opening round of this postseason, it was their core group of star players -- the ones who have been so maligned in previous playoffs -- who were playing well and leading the club.

In the early stages of that series with the Boston Bruins, the Capitals got key contributions from the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green while also neutralizing the top scorers in the other dressing room. The issue at the time was Boston's role players were outplaying Washington's, as guys like Chris Kelly, Benoit Pouliot and Rich Peverley kept the Bruins alive.

Ovechkin scores game-winner in limited ice time

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Alex Ovechkin normally earns so much attention for what he does on the ice. But in the past two weeks, much of the focus has shifted to all the time he is not.

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 6
SOG: 36 | +/-: -1
For the third time in the past five games, Ovechkin on Monday played less than 17 minutes in a Stanley Cup Playoff game for the Washington Capitals. This time, Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers, he played a career-low in the postseason (13:36), but also scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory that evened the series at one game each.

"I feel good. You have to suck it up and use time what Dale [Hunter] is giving to me," Ovechkin said. "First period, two periods I didn't play a lot and I have a couple opportunities I didn't use it. In third, two power plays -- I think on first power play we move well and on second one finally it goes in.

"It's most important thing right now guys just win the series and win the game. If you gonna talk about my game time and all that kind of stuff, it's not a season – it's the playoffs. How I said before, you have to suck it up and play for team."

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