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Braden Holtby was up to his dominant tricks against the New York Rangers in Game 4 on Wednesday.
A third period potentially game-tying penalty shot on Carl Hagelin?
No worries! Save. Various other high quality chances? A stop here, a stop there.
“You’re going in there thinking you’re going to score, and that was my thought process. I wanted to fake shot and then bring it to my backhand and he [Holtby] was in the split there, and he made a good save,” Hagelin said.
The Washington netminder stuffed 28 of 29 Rangers shots on goal to give the Caps a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 series lead. He has allowed just five goals against the Rangers. Andre Burakovsky scored two goals for Washington – his first two scores of his playoff career – to help the Caps against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Rangers.
“Well, there is no doubt that he has been good," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "He has made some big saves and their players, obviously in front of him, have done a good job of blocking shots and blocking lanes. So, it has made it real challenging for us right now.”
The 20-year-old Burakovsky scored the game winning goal just 24 seconds into the third period after tying the game late in the second. Both he and Evgeny Kuznetsov, 22, have become a dangerous, young duo at forward for the Caps who are sooo close to making their first conference final since 1998.
“I’ve been struggling a little with shots and I think I need to shoot more, and the guys have been on me telling me I need to shoot all the time," Burakovsky said. "Today, I think I had a couple of shots on net that worked out pretty well.”
Oh, the youngster has a sense of humor.
The Rangers’ issues involved trying to get pucks through to Holtby. The Capitals blocked 25 shots on goal to New York’s seven. Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik led Washington with six shots on goal. Predictably, the advanced stats were in New York’s favor. But alas, the Rangers, who were built for the playoffs are one loss from being unexpectedly bounced.
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