News, notes and quotes as the Capitals reflect on Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, which moved them within one victory of clinching a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1998:
What the Caps are saying: “It’s going to be a very hard game. It’s why we play, to challenge ourselves against the best and they’ve been the best all year. We’ll try to let this game go quickly and prepare for what we’re expecting as the hardest game of the year.” – Caps goalie Braden Holtby.
What the Rangers are saying: “It’s definitely not over yet. Our group knows that and we’ll continue to lay it all on the line here.” – Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Penalty shot breakdown: With 8:01 gone in the third period and the Caps clinging to their 2-1 lead, Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin broke free on Holtby, forcing Caps defenseman Mike Green to haul him down for a penalty shot.
“We got caught a little flat-footed staring at the play,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz. “Hagelin got through there and you’ve got to take that [penalty]. We had a lot of confidence in Braden there. You talk about making saves at key moments in a game or in a series and we’ve been getting that.”
With a chance to tie the game, Hagelin weaved in on Holtby and went forehand to backhand. But Holtby stayed with him and snatched Hagelin's backhander with his catching glove.
“You’re going in there thinking you’re going to score,” Hagelin said. “I wanted to fake shot and then bring it to my backhand and he was in the split there and he made a good save.”
Said Holtby: “I was trying to be patient. He’s a fast guy so I thought he would try to use his speed somehow. You just try not to think too much, just react.”
Scrum-ptious: Tempers flared in the third period when Rangers forward James Sheppard shoved Caps defenseman Tim Gleason into the goal post, then Tanner Glass bloodied Gleason in a one-sided fight. Before the ice shavings settled, Mike Green was in the box with a roughing penalty, Derick Brassard was called for slashing and Tom Wilson was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct for …
“Honestly, I didn’t say much,” Wilson said. “I gave [Keith Yandle] a couple shoves and he gave me a pretty good one in the face. I’ll let the ref do his job and I’ll do mine. At the end of the day we won the game and I’ll put that one in the rear view.”
Look ahead: The Capitals will meet at Kettler Capitals Iceplex but are not scheduled to practice. They will head to New York following team meetings for Friday’s Game 5 at Madison Square Garden.