Rookie Andre Burakovsky burns Rangers twice in Game 4, puts Capitals in driver’s seat of series

Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky scores the game-winning goal in front of Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist in Washington's 2-1 win over the Rangers in Game 4 Wednesday. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In their second-round showdown against the New York Rangers, the Washington Capitals have gained an advantage in large part due to the play of captain Alex Ovechkin and goalie Braden Holtby. Although Holtby was reliably outstanding again in Game 4 Wednesday, the Caps got their goals not from Ovechkin, but rookie left winger Andre Burakovsky – and for the third time in the second round, the Blueshirts didn’t have enough offense to beat what little Washington could scrounge up, and lost 2-1 to give the Capitals a 3-1 series lead.

All of a sudden, the Rangers – who won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best regular-season team and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in five first-round games – are on the brink of elimination. Read more

Rangers’ Martin St-Louis creates first goal of Game 4 vs. Caps with perfect pass to Derick Brassard

Adam Proteau
Rangers players Martin St-Louis, Derick Brassard, Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh celebrate Brassard's goal in Game 4 of their second-round series against Washington. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

New York Rangers winger Martin St-Louis is one of the NHL’s most accomplished players, but like any star not producing in the playoffs, he was feeling the heat in the Blueshirts’ second-round series against the Capitals. But he began to change that Wednesday with a crafty pass to Derick Brassard for the first goal of Game 4 in Washington.

St-Louis had just one assist in the previous three games against the Caps and two assists in eight post-season games entering Wednesday’s action. However, after he took a pass from teammate Rick Nash near the Rangers’ blueline approximately six minutes into the second period, St-Louis skated the puck into Washington’s zone and made a perfect pass to Brassard, who roofed it past goalie Braden Holtby for his fifth goal of the post-season: Read more

This year’s Ted Lindsay Award finalists: Canadiens’ Price, Capitals’ Ovechkin & Stars’ Benn

Jamie Benn (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The NHL Players’ Association revealed Tuesday the three finalists for this year’s Ted Lindsay Award recognizing the league’s most outstanding player as voted by fellow NHLPA members: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin. Read more

Prospect Hot List: Mike Robinson’s Wildcat formation

Mike Robinson (photo by Jon Chase)

The final matchups in major junior have been set: Quebec takes on Rimouski in the Quebec League; Brandon will duke it out with Kelowna in the West and Erie gets Oshawa in the OHL. Whatever the results, it’s going to be a power-packed Memorial Cup. Meanwhile, the USHL draft is taking place, with Minnesota high school standout Ryan Poehling going first to Lincoln in Phase One (for 1999 birthdays) and some interesting pickups elsewhere in Phase Two (older players). Let’s take a whirl around the prospect planet to see what’s up.

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Holtby, Capitals blank Rangers 1-0 in Game 3 as pressure builds on big-money Blueshirts veterans

Braden Holtby (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New York Rangers were the NHL’s top regular season team this season, the defending Eastern Conference champions, and the pre-playoffs odds-on favorite to win the 2014-15 Stanley Cup. But after Game 3 of their second-round series against Washington ended with a 1-0 Capitals victory Monday, the Blueshirts are just two losses from elimination.

And if Washington’s Braden Holtby stays on his current hot streak between the Caps’ pipes and the Rangers’ collection of highly-paid veteran stars remains unable to produce offense in front of star netminder Henrik Lundqvist, those two losses could come sooner than later. Read more

Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist denies scoring attempt from Caps’ Alex Ovechkin at point-blank range

Alex Ovechkin (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Through the first two games of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals second-round playoff series, Alex Ovechkin has made his presence known with astonishing goals and electrifying play. The Capitals star winger nearly did early in Game 3 Monday night in D.C., but Blueshirts goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Ovechkin’s one-timer from the slot to keep the contest scoreless.

Washington was on the power play near the midway part of the first period when Ovechkin (who had four goals and eight points in nine games entering Monday’s action) found himself all alone in front of the net with the puck after a smart pass from teammate Nicklas Backstrom. Ovechkin took his best shot from up close, but the 33-year-old Lundqvist made a solid shift from his left post to meet the Russian sniper squarely and turn the shot away: Read more

Caps vs. Rangers, Game 2: The afternoon the stars came out

Chris Kreider on Braden Holtby (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Wow. I mean, wow. The Royal Baby™, The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports™ and The Fight of the Century™ all on the same day. How much excitement and how many trademarks can society handle in 24 hours?

Yes, Saturday was a day for the stars to come out. And speaking of stars and excitement, did you catch that New York Rangers-Washington Capitals game Saturday afternoon? To quote Pittsburgh Penguins play-by-play man Mike Lange, “Get in the fast lane, Grandma! The bingo game is ready to roll!” Read more

Alex Ovechkin: From playoff disappointment to playoff stud (Watch this goal!)

Alex Ovechkin scores on Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers prospects of getting to the Eastern Conference final for the second straight spring  depend on one factor – how much they’ll be able to blunt the sheer force of Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

After Game 1 of the series, Capitals coach Barry Trotz compared Ovechkin to one of the greatest leaders the game has ever seen when he likened Ovechkin to Mark Messier. At first blush, it seemed like one of those, “Hey, let’s not go getting all crazy here,” types of comments, but like Messier, Ovechkin is backing up his words. In Game 1 of the series, he taunted Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist by saying, “All series long, baby, all series,” after scoring. Read more