The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers played the early game on Saturday, but no one scored until very late. Mike Green's slapshot on the power play eight minutes into overtime won it 1-0 for the Capitals after an impressive goalie duel kept the game scoreless through three periods.
The Capitals outshot the Rangers 30-24 in regulation, but the game could have gone either way as each team had choice scoring chances in each period. Both New York's Henrik Lundqvist and Washington's Braden Holtby stood on their head, though they also benefited from a little luck here and there:
In the second period, Lundqvist was fortunate that this shot from Nicklas Backstrom somehow missed the net even though it went through Lundqvist's legs:
And very late in regulation, Rick Nash had a solo chance that probably would have won the game, but he hit the post after a patient Holtby waited him out:
At last, Green won it for Capitals, taking advantage of a nice fake shot by Mike Ribeiro:
That power play was the last in a strange sequence dating back to the end of regulation, where players could not seem to keep the puck in the rink. The Capitals had just successfully killed a Rangers power play when, with 45 seconds left in regulation, Karl Alzner swatted at the puck and knocked it over the glass.
That is supposed to be a delay of game penalty, but the referees either missed that it cleared the glass or thought it deflected as Alzner batted it with one hand on his stick. Or maybe, according to the NHL, it only deflected off Alzner's stick (probably influenced by him having one hand on his stick when it happened):
#NYR According to NHL, puck DEFLECTED off Alzner's stick. Because it wasn't shot or batted, as is the wording in rule 63.2, no delay of game— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) May 4, 2013
In overtime, however, the referees missed no such plays. Each team had a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. First came Washington's Steven Oleksy at 1:51, but the Capitals killed what has been an impotent Rangers power play. Then Ryan McDonagh committed the same infraction at 7:09.
That was bad news for the Rangers. McDonagh is generally considered their best defenseman and logs 2:41 of shorthanded ice time per game.
The Capitals took advantage, Green converted Ribeiro's pass, and the Capitals head to New York for Monday's Game 3 with a commanding 2-0 series lead.