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Rangers vs. Capitals 2015 final score: Braden Holtby shuts out Rangers in Game 3 win

Washington eked out a 1-0 win on Monday to take a 2-1 series lead.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On a night when the New York Rangers finally figured out how to stop Alex Ovechkin, it was instead the opposing goaltender who they couldn't solve.

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby shut out the Rangers with a 1-0 win in Game 3, giving the Capitals a 2-1 series lead and a chance to push New York to the brink on Wednesday night. It was Holtby's first shutout of the playoffs.

The Rangers escaped penalty trouble early, as Washington failed to capitalize on two power plays in the first period. In fact, neither team scored on the man advantage at all in this contest.

Washington finally scored the only goal of the game in the second period when winger Jay Beagle's wraparound attempt deflected off defenseman Keith Yandle's skate and into the Rangers net. It was the only goal, but it was needed as New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist played another excellent game in net.

The Rangers pushed back in the third period, but Holtby denied them each time and the Capitals eked out a major victory.

3 things we learned

1. New York finally stifled Washington's top line

Alex Ovechkin had scored in every game this series up until Monday, with his partner in crime Nicklas Backstrom playing excellently as well. But New York managed to keep both of them off the scoresheet on Monday, an important thing to build on despite the loss.

2. Chris Kreider will hit anything that moves

The Rangers winger set a tone in the first period despite playing less than five minutes. He made an early habit of skating through Braden Holtby's crease, drawing the ire of Capitals defensemen and putting the puck on net as often as possible. But his physicality left the biggest imprint, especially this sequence where he laid out both Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward within seconds of each other.

3. Braden Holtby holds his own

Heading into this second-round series, most probably assumed the Rangers held the distinct advantage between the pipes. Holtby's play so far has disproved that theory. He was solid yet again for the Capitals, stopping all 30 shots he faced.