Talk about coming out flying!
The Rangers came out like they'd been shot out of a cannon, forcing Michal Neuvirth
to make an excellent stop off a scramble before the game was 30 seconds old.
Then it was the Caps' turn. Alex Ovechkin
came down right wing on a 2-on-1 but fired wide. Henrik Lundqvist
also had to make a pair of fine glove stops. John Erskine
, not known for his offensive skills, also tested Lundqvist twice.
After the initial flurry, the Caps are carrying the play, forcing the Rangers to defend rather than attack. They earned the first power play when Bryan McCabe
got his stick between Marcus Johansson
' legs and tripped the rookie center as he raced down the right wing.
The Caps wasted no time taking advantage. With the Rangers in full disarray, Mike Green
took a rip from the slot that Lundqvist stopped. But the All-Star defenseman followed his shot and poked the puck off defenseman Dan Girardi
and into the net at 5:59 for a 1-0 lead. It's only the second time in the five games that the Caps have scored first.
Even worse for the Rangers: They wound up with the extra penalty after a scrum behind the net when New York's bench was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. They nearly wound up with a second minor seconds later when a clearing attempt went out of play -- but NBC's Pierre McGuire knew before anyone that the puck hadn't gone over the glass ... because he caught it.