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Capitals vs. Rangers 2015 final score: Joel Ward leads Washington to 2-1 victory in Game 1

Joel Ward's goal with 1.3 seconds left in game gives Washington a 1-0 series lead over New York.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals took Game 1 of their second round series against the New York Rangers, 2-1, as Joel Ward notched the game-winner with two seconds left in regulation.

Ward, who has a knack for scoring when it matters most, beat Henrik Lundqvist with a one-timer just in front of the crease.

Alex Ovechkin got Washington on the board first with a top shelf goal 18:13 into the opening period. The Russian superstar used Rangers D-man Dan Boyle to screen Henrik Lundqvist, who would have likely made the save with a clear view.

Jesper Fast evened the contest with 4:39 left in regulation. The Rangers created sustained pressure in the Caps' zone, allowing Kevin Hayes to fire a shot near the blue line. Hayes' attempt hit a Washington stick before bouncing off Fast's leg and into the net.

It seemed as if Fast's tally would send the game to overtime. But in the waning moments of the third period, Ward positioned himself in front of the net, received a crisp pass from Ovechkin and scored just in time to steal home ice advantage away from the Rangers.

3 things we learned

1. This series is shaping up to be a fantastic goalie battle

Braden Holtby was tremendous in Washington's opening round series against the Islanders, when he gave up two or fewer goals in each of the last five contests. He continued to thrive in Game 1 versus the Rangers by turning aside 28 of 29 shots faced. Lundqvist, who was stellar in his own right during the first round, saved 27 of 29 shots. He's given up more than two goals just once in his last eight appearances.

2. Kevin Klein's return was key for the Rangers

New York had been without Klein for an extended stretch while he healed from an arm injury. The veteran blue liner made his return on Thursday and didn't miss a beat: Klein played a sound defensive game -- one third period breakdown notwithstanding -- and earned a plus-eight even strength shot differential. Additionally, he registered six hits and three shots.

3. Alain Vigneault is crazy for playing Tanner Glass

Vigneault is a good hockey coach. He hasn't enjoyed a wealth of postseason success in Vancouver and New York by accident. But, at the same time, it's hard to figure out why he keeps letting Glass suit up. The veteran enforcer, who's scored one goal in 72 games this year, is easily New York's worst forward. At least a handful of guys in the Rangers' system could replace him and do better. It's certainly not Glass' fault that New York dropped this one, but when the difference between winning and losing is razor thin, you need to optimize your lineup as much as possible.