The Rangers Lose Game 1 As The King Gets Crowned
Game 1 of the eastern conference match up between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers will not go down as 1 of the best moments of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvists career. The reigning Vezina champion as the leagues best goalie in 2012 let in as soft a goal as you could, was out of position on another, and could have stopped the 3rd as well as the Caps beat the Rangers 3-1 to take the opener.
The Rangers actually opened the scoring in game 1 on the road, a goal by Carl Hagelin. That was the highlight for New York.
The Capitals stormed the Rangers for 3 goals in the 2nd period, 2 of them coming in a span of 46 seconds.
Alexander Ovetchkin opened the scoring for the Caps on the power play. This is a meeting of the least penalized team in the NHL ( The Rangers) against the top power play in the league ( The Caps). Ovetchkin quickly shot a puck that lanmded on his stick after bouncing off the back board and coming right to him. Lundqvist was looking the other way when Ovetchkin got the disc and nobody was there to take him out of the play.
With the score knotted at 1 the Caps and Rangers exchanged good scoring chances. Braden Holtby and Lundqvist matched saves for the next few minutes until the Caps broke through again. Twice!
1st Marcus Johansson broke behind the Rangers defense and received a pass from defensemen Steve Oleksy and blasted a puck that leaked through Lundqvist to make it 2-1 Washington. However it was the next goal that will stick with Lundqvist. Jason Chimera of Washington, skating along the boards with no pass to make, turned and fired the puck past a screened Lundqvist to give the Caps a 2 goal margin.
The Rangers seemed to have crawled back in the game late when an apparent goal was called no goal when it looked on replay that Holtby reached back behind the goal line to pull a puck out of the goal. The call on the ice was no goal, and the replay couldn't and didn't show the puck had crossed so the call on the ice held. Hagalin also hit the cross bar on a sizzling shot before this controversial no goal replay.
Holtby made 36 saves to get the win.
Ovetchkin scored his 31st goal of the playoffs, overtaking Peter Bondra for the all time franchise lead.
The Rangers took 6 penalties in the contest, a season high. Game 2 is a national TV matinee Saturday at 12.30 back in Washington