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Caps host Rangers in Game 3

by Dave Lozo


(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)


Big Story:
The Capitals stole home-ice advantage on a third-period power-play goal by Alex Ovechkin that gave them a 3-2 victory in Game 2 and will look to take advantage of Verizon Center starting in Game 3. The Capitals went 26-11-4 at home in the regular season, the eighth-best mark in the League. That may not matter much, as the Rangers were the NHL's best road team with a record of 24-12-5 and went 2-1 in Ottawa during the first round.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Three mistakes, something the Rangers rarely make during the course of a game, cost them in Game 2.

A Stu Bickel turnover led to the Caps' first goal on a 3-on-2 rush. A Henrik Lundqvist misplay behind his net led to the Caps' second goal. After Brad Richards took a needless penalty late in the third period, Alex Ovechkin scored the winner off the ensuing faceoff.

Coach John Tortorella said the game was more than just those three mistakes, but Richards said the difference between winning and losing was those errors.

"The first two goals were us beating ourselves," Richards said. "Whether it's a fluke or giving an odd-man rush like that, that's the game of mistakes we always talk about. We kept it close in the third.

Capitals: All anyone wants to talk about is Ovechkin's ice time. He played 13:36 in Game 2, his lightest workload ever in a postseason game. It may seem like a big deal to fans, but the Capitals don't care how much he plays as long they win.

"To be honest, it's not even something that we notice," defenseman Karl Alzner said of individual playing times. "We don't go down the sheet at the end of the game and say, 'How much did Ovi play?' That's just not something that we do. Talking to some of the guys, we all keep saying the same thing: 'It's too bad that that's the topic of conversation after we just won a big game.'"

Who's Hot:
Rangers center Derek Stepan has a four-game points streak with a goal and four assists.

Injury Report:
Only Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) has a relatively new injury that will keep him out of the lineup.

Stat Pack: It's completely random and meaningless, but the Rangers went 3-0 with Brian Boyle out of the lineup with a concussion and are 2-4 when he plays. However, Boyle has three goals in those six games.

Puck Drop:
"If guys are getting upset about ice time and that's all you're worrying about, then you're off. I've seen that happen to a lot of guys in the last seven years that I've been playing. It's pretty obvious. Everybody right now just doesn't care. Just go out there and play, work hard. Dale's going to reward you." -- Alzner

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