August 9, 2022

FIRST TAKE, GAME 6: Lundqvist stymies Caps; Game 7 Monday

Henrik Lundqvist stopped every shot that made it through to him, and the New York Rangers escaped Game 6 with a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals. The Caps were hindered all day by killing penalties, as the refs awarded five power plays to the Rangers but none to the Caps. Regardless, the Caps weren’t able to find an answer for Lundqvist, forcing the seemingly inevitable Game 7 at Verizon Center.

– Though outshot (due to accumulation of power plays for the Rangers) in the first period, the Caps had the much better of play at 5-on-5, penning the Rangers in there zone on multiple occasions.

– Caps had better of play in a rough first 20 minutes, but they were unable to find a way to play physical without going to the box. Both Hillen and Fehr penalties came when physical confrontation was 50/50. Caps lost the whistle in both those occasions at MSG. On the Fehr penalty, it looked like the hit was shoulder to shoulder and the Rangers player hit himself in the mouth with is own elbow.

– Ovechkin lazy on defense? Not in the first period, where on back-to-back shifts he filled the goal crease during a scrum on the far post, then blocked two shots in a sequence when Caps were forced to deal with defensive zone face-off after an icing.

– Obviously, a huge penalty kill at the end of the period with Alzner off for delay of game and then Fehr joining him on the roughing. Killing almost a minute of 5-on-3 then the rest of it is a big boost of morale.

– Rangers scored on a deflection off Oleksy’s glove on a shot from the high slot by Brassard. On the replay, it looked like Holtby had it tracked all the way until the last second deflection. Looked like Oleksy tried to punch at it and just didn’t get enough of it to push it off goal.

– Energized by their tally, Rangers really had the best of play in the last eight minutes of the second. Holtby made several huge saves, including a sequence when he lost his stick, to keep the Caps within one goal. Ovechkin had a couple of chances in the frame only to be denied by Lundqvist.

– The third period was furious, including about 80 seconds of 6-on-4, but Lundqvist was equal every time the Caps got one through.

– Hard to believe the Rangers didn’t commit a penalty in Game 6, but they were not called for one, while getting the benefit of five power plays. Caps are fortunate that the Rangers power play is inept (0-for-5 in the game, 2-for-26 in the series), but fighting off power plays will take its toll — and keep Alex Ovechkin off the ice.

Game 7 is Monday night at 8:00 pm at Verizon Center.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP


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