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Caps-Rangers Game 7 pregame notes


Caps-Rangers Game 7 pregame notes

Here are some facts and figures for the Capitals and Rangers as they prepare for what promises to be another epic battle tonight at Madison Square Garden:

No Beagle: Caps center Jay Beagle did not skate with the team in its morning skate at MSG and although coach Dale Hunter called it a "game-time decision," it appears Beagle will sit out his second straight game after taking a puck in the leg in Game 5. Jeff Halpern is expected to take his place in the lineup.

Cool rookie: Following a loss in the playoffs, Capitals rookie goaltender Braden Holtby is 6-0 with a 1.24 GAA and .960 save percentage. Including the regular season this year and last, Holtby has gone 29 consecutive starts without suffering back-to-back defeats.

Thisclose: Twelve of the Capitals 13 playoff games have been decided by one goal; 10 of the Rangers 13 have been one-goal games. The Rangers and Caps have been tied or separated by one goal for 90 percent of their series.

Last time around: Joel Ward was the Game 7 hero 16 days ago in Boston when he scored the overtime game-winner. Washington ousted the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round, capturing the first playoff series in NHL history to feature seven one-goal games. Four games were decided in overtime.

Perfect at home: The Rangers are 4-0 all-time in Game 7s at home. They beat their first-round opponent, the Ottawa Senators, on home ice in their first Game 7 at Madison Square Garden since they captured the Stanley Cup in 1994. The Rangers received goals from defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, marking the first time since 1950 that a team won a Game 7 without a forward scoring.

Game 7 history: The Rangers are 4-5 in nine Game 7s in franchise history, including a
4-0 mark at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals are 3-7 in Game 7s,
including their first-ever road victory on April 25 at Boston.

Watch out for Rusty: Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko is a perfect 5-0 in career Game 7s with Tampa, Pittsburgh and New York and has three goals and one assist in those games.

OHL title: Dale Hunter's junior team, the London Knights, won the OHL title Friday night, earning a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars


3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history


Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps down the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovi scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period. The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3. Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg also had a goal and an assist. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.