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Capitals 1, Rangers 0, OT

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Defenseman Mike Green blasted a slap shot past the outstretched glove of Henrik Lundqvist 8 minutes into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.

With the win, the third-seeded Capitals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which will move to New York for Game 3 on Monday night.

Green, who led all NHL defensemen with 12 goals in the regular season, set up in the high slot. Mike Ribeiro faked a shot and slid a pass to Green, who rifled a waist-high shot into the right side of the net.

Fifty-one seconds earlier, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was called for delay of game when he shot the puck out of the rink. Earlier in the overtime period Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy also drew a delay of game penalty, but the Rangers failed to record a shot on the man-advantage.

The Capitals have taken a 2-0 lead in a playoff series nine times in their history but have won just four of those series.

The two teams combined for 54 shots and 102 hits through the first three periods but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Each team was awarded a power-play opportunity in the first period but neither scored on it as Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby dueled it out at opposite ends of the rink.

The closest the Rangers came to scoring was just 3:50 into the game when defenseman Anton Stalman rang a shot off the top right corner post.

Lundqvist made nice stops on a Mathieu Perreault deflection and an Alex Ovechkin rush in the first period, while Holtby turned aside Michael Del Zotto from the high slot and Darroll Powe from the side of the net.

The Capitals' best chance to take a lead came with 5:50 remaining in the second period when Martin Erat blocked a shot and fed Troy Brouwer for a 2-on-1 with Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro carried the puck into the offensive zone but Del Zotto took away his passing lane and Lundqvist got his blocker on Ribeiro's short side shot from in close.

Notes: Center Brian Boyle (leg) and right wing Derek Dorsett (broken clavicle) returned to the Rangers' lineup, replacing Kris Newbury and Chris Kreider. Boyle missed the final six games of the regular season, while Dorsett has not played since March 7 for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who traded him to the Rangers on April 3. ... With his power-play goal in Game 1, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin set a franchise record with 31 career playoff goals, one more than Peter Bondra. Bondra netted 30 goals in 73 playoff games. Ovechkin notched his 31st in his 52nd playoff game. ... Six of Jason Chimera's eight career playoff goals have come against the Rangers. ... The two teams will practice in their respective facilities on Sunday, then meet again in New York for Game 3 on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. ... The Rangers entered the game with a 3-1-0 record in afternoon games this season, outscoring their opponents 12-5. Washington went 3-4-0 in day games and were outscored 22-18. ... Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy and Rangers forwards Kris Newbury and Derrick Brassard and defenseman John Moore played in their first career playoff games in Game 1.
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