Capitals vs. Rangers Game 4 Recap: New York ties series with another 4-3 home win

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

It's down to a best-of-three finish as the Rangers hold serve at home.

The New York Rangers tied their series with the Washington Capitals at two games each after their consecutive 4-3 win on home ice at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers pulled it off without Marc Staal, who was a late scratch for the Rangers after returning in Game 3 from an eye injury that cost him the end of the regular season and the first two games of this series.

The Rangers dominated the Capitals through the first two periods of Game 4, outshooting them 26-13 but entering the third period tied at 2-2. They had taken a 2-0 lead on goals by Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards before Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer tied it with two goals 6:34 apart in the last half of the period.

Braden Holtby played a strong game for the Capitals, keeping them in it through two periods, though his first goal allowed was an embarrassing example of overplaying the puck:

Holtbyderp_medium e

That's Brad Richards knocking the rebound in for his first goal of the playoffs after John Carlson bailed out Holtby on the initial shot.

Brouwer's goal came on a backhand with just 17 seconds left, signaling the game would be up for grabs in the third. But Dan Girardi scored on a power play in the first minute of the third period, and the Rangers withstood the Capitals' comeback attempts the rest of the way.

Derek Stepan scored at 6:02 to give the Rangers an insurance goal on a pretty give and go with Hagelin that drew Holtby way out of the net:

Rangers4_medium

That was insurance they would eventually need, as Karl Alzner's shot at 7:31 was deflected in by Perreault, bringing the Capitals back to within one.

But Alzner's was the last goal of the game. Henrik Lundqvist held up despite the Capitals outshooting the Rangers 15-8 in the third as they tried to mount a comeback.

The game was costly for the Capitals beyond the loss. Martin Erat left the game with a wrist injury after a collision with Alex Ovechkin and Stepan.

Before the game, we posed three questions. Now we have answers:

Can McDonagh keep the wraps on Ovechkin again?

It wasn't all Ryan McDonagh, but yes, the Rangers were again able to keep Ovechkin scoreless. He was minus-1 on the night and even played a role in Erat's injury.

Will the Capitals stay out of the penalty box?

No. In fact it was a foolish interference penalty by Jason Chimera at the end of the second period that gave the Rangers the power play they used to pull ahead in the third.

Will this be the game that Lundqvist steals?

Lundqvist wasn't needed to steal the game, but his 14 saves in the third period were key to preserving the Rangers win once they let up their own assault on Holtby.

Game 5 is Friday in Washington.

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