Apr 7 2012; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) watches a deflected puck during the second period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Rangers capped off their 2011-2012 season with a 4-1 loss on home ice. Since the Capitals were able to grab two points, that will push the Ottawa Senators into the eight spot due to the tiebreaker rules. While the Rangers didn't have a strong start to this one, they finished it out with some great pressure, which hopefully will translate into the playoffs.
This one broke down real quick for the Rangers as Alexander Ovechkin scored just :32 seconds into the game. Ovechkin scored off the wicked snap shot of his, and it was able to beat Lundqvist for the early 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, the Capitals were able to widen their lead to 2-0 at the 2:18 mark. Mathieu Perreault was the recipient of the goal as he redirected in a point shot from Roman Hamrlik.
In just the first two minutes of the game, it looked as if the Rangers were lifeless, and a 2-0 was a major contributing factor to that. Ryan McDonagh took a late penalty after his tossed the puck over the glass on a lazy attempt to clear the zone. On the ensuing power play, John Carlson would blast home a point shot that beat the screened Henrik Lundqvist.
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After showing the replay, it showed that Derek Stepan attempted to block the shot, and the puck wound up deflecting off of his stick, and which was what fooled Lundqvist. So the Rangers were faced with a difficult task, as they found themselves down 3-0 after just the single period of play.
Just give minutes into the second period, Nicklas Backstrom put the Caps up 4-1 on an odd-man rush. Alexander Semin made a great saucer pass over to Backstrom who snapped it low past Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers were finally able to get on the board as Brian Boyle slammed home his own rebound in front of Holtby, and he broke the shutout.
Both teams were unable to generate any further scoring, and the Capitals would wind up winning the game 4-1. Although the Rangers dropped this one, they finished out the game with some serious pressure on the Capitals. I would rather them have a strong finish to the game, and carry over the momentum in their favor, into the playoffs.
The Rangers and their fans still need to watch one more game tonight between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. If the Canucks lose in regulation, the Rangers would take the President's Trophy due to them having the tiebreaker.
We will keep you guys updated on the playoff schedule as it will most likely come available tomorrow afternoon.