NEW YORK (AP) -While Alex Ovechkin tried to figure out Henrik Lundqvist, the Washington Capitals found a way to beat the New York Rangers.
Ovechkin went a third game without a goal, but earned two assists for the second-seeded Capitals, who methodically posted a 4-0 victory over the No. 7 Rangers and got back into the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series Monday night.
Behind 33 saves from 20-year-old Simeon Varlamov, the Capitals cut the series deficit to 2-1 - after a pair of home losses - and moved into position to tie the best-of-seven matchup Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Despite playing only six career NHL games, Varlamov made a surprise start in Game 2, after Jose Theodore was ineffective in the opener.
Ovechkin cut down on his shooting after recording 19 shots in the first two games and having another 17 attempts blocked, and showed off his passing skills. He earned assists on Alexander Semin's two goals in the first period and was on the ice when Brooks Laich added a power-play tally in the second.
Former Rangers defenseman Tom Poti also scored a power-play goal with 1:25 left.
MONTREAL (AP) - Michael Ryder scored late in the second period and Tim Thomas made 23 saves to lead the Boston Bruins to a win over the Montreal Canadiens and a commanding lead in their first-round playoff series.
Phil Kessel, Shawn Thornton, Chuck Kobasew also scored for Boston, which increased its lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal to 3-0 despite the absence of left wing Milan Lucic, who sat out a one-game league suspension.
Ryder, a healthy scratch for all but four of Montreal's 12 playoffs games last season, put Boston ahead 17:21 into the second period. The former Canadiens left wing jumped on a rebound of Dennis Wideman's shot from the right point and beat Carey Price with a shot into an open left side.
Kobasew scored into an empty net with 37 seconds remaining.
Chris Higgins and Yannick Weber scored for Montreal, which has lost seven in a row, including its last four games of the regular season.