Continuing the Push

Well, a fantastic result tonight for the Caps. They were actually outplayed for the first, and much of the third, periods, but managed to keep the Rangers off the board. And in the second period, when they were really pushing, they managed two goals, one of which was on the power play.

It's funny how these things roll around. I really didn't want Chimera on the ice tonight, he just hasn't been able to finish some wide-open chances for quite a while. He even had one in game one, where he was part of a 4-on-2; when the pass went over to him, I screamed at the TV, "Not to Chimmer". But tonight he managed to finish a nice tic-tac-toe play from MarJo from Laich going from directly behind to the left side, bottom of the circle, to the front of the net. It was pretty. But I still would have been happier with Fehr playing both games.

The one thing the Caps did well tonight, even when they were being outplayed, was keeping the Rangers to the perimeter. They gave up a couple of really good chances, but not many. And especially not many when you consider how much more possession the Rangers had.

Oh, and a shout-out to Alzner for playing very well. He had a nice shutdown on a 2-on-1 (he would be my first choice for which defender to have back on a 2-on-1), and a beautiful stretch pass to spring OV for a breakaway in the third. OV didn't bury it, but it was still a beautiful job getting him the puck.

Other than that, Neuvy did a fine job again, getting his first playoff shutout. He didn't face a lot of shots, and, as I said, most were from the perimeter, but it was still a good job. And again, he never looked rattled, even when Avery was really trying to shake his cage. Oh, and he should really thank Erskine for one of those saves, when Neuvy was totally out of position (I forget the exact details, but I'm not blaming him for being out of position), Erskine stood tall in the net and batted it aside.

So, overall the game was pretty encouraging. They do need to do a better job of controlling possession, but they did show that they can do that.

But the Rangers are definitely not to be overlooked, even at this point. Not just because they're determined, but also because the Caps have blown two game series leads in '85, '87, '92, '95, '96, '03, '09, and '10. Yeah, that's a lot of playoff frustration. Oh, and the Caps have never swept a seven game series; it'd be nice to break that streak.

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