NHL Playoffs 2011: Brandon Dubinsky Gives Rangers 3-2 Win, Cuts Capitals' Series Lead To 2-1

Brandon Dubinsky scored with 1:39 remaining as the Rangers won a wild game, 3-2, to cut the Capitals' series lead to 2-1.

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NHL Playoffs 2011, Capitals Vs. Rangers: Capitals Fall To Rangers 3-2 On Late Goal

The Rangers defeated the Captials 3-2 to pull within a 2-1 series deficit against Washington. This was a game where the Rangers were able to take advantage of Washington penalties, and the third period was a fine example of that.

Despite having the no goal call going against them in the second period, the Rangers started the third period fast, as they had several scoring chances in the first two minutes of the frame. But again Neuvirth came up big for the Caps in the early going.

At around the 14 minute mark of the period, the Caps had their best scoring chance to that point, as they had a two on two with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble out in front. But Ruslan Fedotenko made a fantastic block on the Ovechkin pass to break up the scoring chance just in front of Lundqvist.

And while the the Caps were unable to take advantage of their scoring chances, the Rangers were able to take advantage of theirs. At the 12 minute mark of the period, Vinny Prospal scored the go ahead goal off of a rebound to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Shortly thereafter, the Capitals helped the Rangers cause yet again as they committed another penalty, this time a tripping call on Nicklas Backstrom, to give New York another power play opportunity. But the Caps were able to kill off that penalty, giving them a chance to tie the game with eight minutes left in the period.

A few minutes the later, the Caps began to kick it in gear when they forced their way into the Rangers offensive zone, and forced the Rangers to commit a cross checking penalty. Marian Gaborik was charged with the cross check on Backstrom.

The Caps could not get their power play going early, but they cashed in on the advantage later as they scored the tying goal thanks to Mike Knuble. Knuble scored the equalizer off a rebound after his teammates helped crash the net, tying the game a two goals a piece. 

A few minutes later, John Carlson and Brian Boyle went to the penalty box for roughing, creating a 4 on 4 situation.

The Rangers then quickly took advantage, as Brandon Dubinsky scored off a deflection off of Ovechkin's stick to put the home team up 3-2 with a minute and thirty seconds left in regulation.

And with that, the Rangers won the game by that score, making the series 2-1 in favor of the Capitals.

Washington certainly had it's chances to close this game out in the third period, but the Rangers were able to take advantage of the Caps mistakes and got themselves back in this series. 

As a result, the pressure could be back on the Caps in Game 4 as they must win to kill any momentum the Rangers gained from this win.


NHL Playoffs 2011, Capitals Vs. Rangers: After A Wild Second Period, Caps And Rangers Tied 1-1

After another action packed period, the Caps and Rangers go into the second intermission tied at one goal a piece. But it was quite a story as to how it got there.

The Caps started the period with the one man advantage from the waning moments of the first period, but that didn't last long. Shortly after the period started, Mike Green was called for hooking, creating a 4 on 4 chance. Once the Rangers had the full man advantage, they were unable to convert on another power play chance.

After both teams were at full strength, Henrik Lundqvist showed why he is one of the better goaltenders in the league, as he stone Marcus Johansson and Jason Arnott on back to back scoring chances.

And then five minutes into the period, the Rangers got their second power play of the period, when John Carlson got called for a cross check. You had to figure that with all the chances the Rangers were getting in the game thus far, it was only a matter of time until they would cash in. And sure enough, this was the fateful break they needed to score the game's first goal. An angling shot from Erik Christensen went in and gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead early in the period.

And a few minutes later, the Caps gave the Rangers it's third power play chance of the period, with Alex Ovechkin committing a hooking penalty. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for the Caps PK unit, it did. Scott Hannan "committed" a holding penalty (quotes because it looked like a phantom call), giving the Rangers their second two man advantage of the game. The Caps were able to stave off the Rangers again during their brief 5 on 3 chance, and then again when it went back to the 5 on 4.

With the Caps back at full strength (a rarity in this period), they had a few odd man rushes in the last few minutes of the period. But again, Henrik Lundqvist was there to make the save every time. Add that to the fact that the penalties that were called on the Caps were soft at best, and that couldn't have made Bruce Boudreau a happy man for most of the period. 

But Boudreau's best player came through for him and the Caps in the waning seconds of the period, as Ovechkin scored on a deflection that went past Lundqvist to tie the game 1-1. 

And just when it looked like the Caps were going to go into the locker room with a tie game, they got yet another scare. 

The Rangers appeared to score a goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. But after the officials reviewed the play, they determined that the clock read 0.0 when the puck crossed the goal line, with the Caps breathing a huge sigh of relief.

So while so many things went against the Caps in this period, they still go into the locker room tied with the Rangers 1-1 with a chance to win this game in the third period.


NHL Playoffs 2011, Capitals Vs. Rangers: Caps And Rangers Scoreless After Physical First Period

Despite both teams going into the locker room with the game still scoreless, that doesn't mean the first period wasn't action packed.

The period started out fast, as the Rangers were the team who were clearly playing with more desperation. New York's defenseman came out very physical and pounded the Caps early. After the Caps responded with some early scoring chances, the Rangers came charging back again. But as he has been so far this series, Michal Neuvirth came up big on a great scoring chance by Matt Gilroy.

The Rangers then continue to pick up the pace. After Brooks Laich had his scoring chance blocked, the Rangers began making another push.Neuvirth found himself fending off shot after shot as New York was living in the Caps offensive zone in the middle of the period. Despite that, the Rangers were not able to break through.

New York continued it's physical play through the middle of the period. It almost seemed like they were just as willing to hurt themselves as they were willing to take out a Caps player. Brandon Prust's hit on Mike Green was a great example, as he simply thrust his entire body into Green, probably hurting himself in the process.

The Caps weathered the storm in the first 15 minutes of the period, and were given a break when as Boyd Gordon drew a holding call on Gilroy, giving the Caps the first power play chance of the game. But unfortunately, they were unable to take advantage, as Henrik Lundquist got save after save, despite a good series of shots by Washington.

But as quickly as the Caps sent out their power play unit, their penalty kill squad was needed just as quickly, big time. First, Matt Hendricks was called for interference, and then Mike Knuble was called for delay of game, giving the Rangers the two man advantage. But in a thrilling sequence, the Caps were able to kill off both penalties, as Neuvirth fended off everything the Rangers threw at him.

During that sequence, Erik Christensen was called for goalee interference, with the Caps going into the second period on a power play chance.

This was a period that the Caps were able to take the Rangers best shot early, and now will have their chance to counter punch in the second.


NHL Playoffs 2011, Capitals Vs. Rangers: Washington Looks For 3-0 Series Lead

The Washington Capitals are coming off of a 2-0 victory that gave them a series lead of that very same margin. Today, they travel to play the New York Rangers in Game of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, looking to extend their series lead to 3-0.

In Game 2, the Capitals looked like the better team from start to finish, as they were able to play solid defense and keep themselves in the Rangers offensive zone for most of the night. Jason Chimera and Jason Arnott were the scorers in that game, but there was much more to the game than the scorers themselves. The Rangers were very physical with the Caps, particularly Sean Avery, and the Caps were not going to give in to New York's tactics to try and rattle them. They were calm and composed the entire night and that contributed to the win as much as Arnott and Chimera's goals.

Today, the Rangers will enjoy the comforts of playing at home for the first time in this series, and will look for any sign of hope as they are staring a 3-0 series deficit in the face. In the history of the Rangers franchise, they have never won a series after losing the first two games, so they will be coming out tonight as desperate as desperate can be. 

The Capitals, on the other hand, will head into this game confidently knowing that if they can win tonight's game, it would be a back breaker for the Rangers. Ending the series as quickly as possible would be a boon for the team, as they still have several players still injured or coming off of injury (such as Dennis Wideman and Mike Green), and giving them more time to rest in between series would be very beneficial.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves, the Caps still have to take care of business this afternoon in Madison Square Garden for them to even begin thinking about potentially moving on in the playoffs.

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