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Capitals lose to Rangers in physical Game 1 of Stanley Cup playoffs



Capitals lose to Rangers in physical Game 1 of Stanley Cup playoffs
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

NEW YORK — To have an opportunity, the Washington Capitals know they should maintain the sport shut. They’re heavy underdogs of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff collection with the New York Rangers, and their finest hope for pulling off an upset is to keep away from multi-goal deficits. In the event that they should chase the sport, they’re in bother.

For a lot of the primary interval Sunday afternoon at Madison Sq. Backyard, the Capitals performed the form of tight, evenly fought sport they wanted. However the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers blew the sport open in slightly over two minutes of the second, and that was greater than sufficient for New York to roll to a 4-1 win within the bodily collection opener.

Goaltender Charlie Lindgren, making his playoff debut, stopped 27 pictures for Washington. Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves for New York. Sport 2 is Tuesday evening.

A scarcity of offense was Washington’s Achilles’ heel for many of the common season, and that downside remained for Sport 1 of the playoffs. Coach Spencer Carbery mentioned a number of days earlier that his crew must put extra pucks on web; shot totals within the low 20s, he felt, wouldn’t be sufficient on this collection.

Washington recorded 21 pictures on aim Sunday. Defenseman Martin Fehervary scored the lone aim on a deflection off his skates close to the entrance of the online — after the Capitals had fallen right into a 3-0 gap.

“We’ve acquired to do a manner higher job offensively,” Carbery mentioned. “It’s no secret; we’ve struggled all yr. However we’ve acquired to seek out methods to create extra on the inside. We’ve acquired to skate out of strain.”

The primary interval featured extra particular groups play than is typical within the postseason. Every crew had two energy performs, and the groups spent two minutes at four-on-four, however neither aspect broke via. For the Capitals, killing two penalties towards the common season’s third-ranked energy play may have — and maybe ought to have — given them momentum, however they couldn’t discover traction on the opposite finish of the ice.

“They’ve clearly acquired excellent particular groups over there,” defenseman John Carlson mentioned. “To close them down on the PK was large momentum for us. We had loads of possibilities to seize it via these kills, via the facility performs, however once you let it blow within the wind, you by no means know what’s going to occur.”

The tightly contested matchup broke broad open early within the second interval. Because the Rangers labored the puck across the web behind Lindgren, defenseman Alexander Alexeyev misplaced contact with New York ahead Matt Rempe, who discovered area on the again publish. He was completely positioned for a tap-in end off a feed throughout the crease from Jimmy Vesey at 4:17 — a lot to the delight of the house crowd, which christened Rempe a cult hero mere seconds into his NHL profession again in February.

The group chanted Rempe’s title when he lined up for his first shift; the chants returned — and multiplied in quantity — after he scored the primary aim of the collection.

It took the Rangers 33 seconds to double their lead. New York once more labored the puck across the offensive zone, and ahead Alexis Lafrenière took defenseman Vincent Iorio out of the play with a success alongside the boards. Whereas Iorio was down, Vincent Trocheck discovered Artemi Panarin on an offensive-zone two-on-one — Panarin, who had 49 targets within the common season, beat Lindgren over the glove.

Iorio exited with an upper-body damage and didn’t return. Carbery didn’t have an replace on his standing after the sport.

Iorio’s teammates, notably winger T.J. Oshie, had been irate that there was no penalty known as on Lafrenière. Carbery known as the hit “borderline” however pointed to Iorio needing to launch the puck faster to keep away from ending up in a susceptible place.

“Younger participant. [I] really feel dangerous for him as a result of he places himself in a troublesome spot,” Carbery mentioned. “In all probability wants to maneuver the puck faster there, simply get it out of his palms. He hangs on to it and bobbles it.”

Vesey made it 3-0 with a shot that fooled Lindgren off a faceoff win by Barclay Goodrow at 6:23. In simply 2:06, the Capitals went from having an opportunity to getting blown out.

“They’re opportunistic,” Carlson mentioned. “They’re crew. We all know they’re going to have the ability to bury possibilities. We all know we are able to’t be giving them two-on-ones in the course of the ice and stuff like that. It’s nothing we didn’t count on, nothing we haven’t talked about. We now have an opportunity to play loads higher, and I believe for us, simply regroup and put our heads down, return to work like we at all times have.”

Fehervary acquired Washington on the board at 7:31; winger Tom Wilson’s cross towards a net-crashing Fehervary deflected off a number of skates, together with Fehervary’s, earlier than evading Shesterkin. The aim gave the Capitals some life, however they weren’t in a position to construct on it.

Two extra energy performs, one within the second after Fehervary’s aim and one early within the third, got here and went with out a aim. Getting 4 power-play alternatives in a playoff sport is much from a assure, and for Washington, which had the most effective energy play within the NHL from the all-star break to the tip of the season, failing to attain on all 4 was a chance missed.

“Entries had been an enormous challenge, as all people watched,” Carbery mentioned. “We’re going to have to begin there earlier than we are able to even discuss concerning the in-zone sequences and what we’re in search of. … We’ve simply acquired to do a manner higher job.”

Washington didn’t present a lot push within the third interval. Its most promising shift ended with Chris Kreider skating in alone on Lindgren and beating him with a backhander previous his outstretched pad at 16:17, locking up a Sport 1 win for New York.

At follow Monday, the Capitals’ focus can be on discovering methods to generate extra offense and bettering the facility play. Each elements can be important if Washington goes to bounce again in Sport 2.

“We acquired the primary a part of a whole lot of good performs, however guys are diving to dam pictures,” Carlson mentioned. “We all know that it’s going to be troublesome, however with that mentioned, we’ve acquired to be loads higher.”