Maybe the Capitals should have stayed away from the not-so-friendly confines of the Verizon Center.
New York came out buzzing in the first period after Michael Sauer captured the belt in an early skirmish against Jason Chimera. The fight led to an extended stay in the Caps defensive zone and a goal from Steve Eminger. The former Capitals defenseman fired a shot from the point that was deflected past Michal Neuvirth to make it 1-0.
New York added another at 14:47 of the frame. Sauer gathered possession of the puck along the sideboards and floated it to the slot for an easy tip-in by Erik Christensen and the Caps found themselves down 2-0 after one.
While the Caps came out of the dressing room flat, captain Alex Ovechkin was anything but. Ovechkin registered four shots and three hits in an energized first period performance. Midway through the stanza, he deked around a defender and sent a shot glancing off the mask of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Mike Green, back after missing six of Washington's last seven games with inner ear trauma, left the game early in the first period after taking an elbow to the head from Derek Stepan. No penalty was called and Green has yet to return to the bench.