Rangers hold off Capitals to even series

NEW YORK — Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the New York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven playoff series with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Girardi ripped a shot from above the left circle, off a feed from Derick Brassard, to give the Rangers the lead again with a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third. The advantage was created by Jason Chimera’s interference penalty at the end of the second.

NEW YORK — Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the New York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven playoff series with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Girardi ripped a shot from above the left circle, off a feed from Derick Brassard, to give the Rangers the lead again with a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third. The advantage was created by Jason Chimera’s interference penalty at the end of the second.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said the team’s struggling power play was discussed during intermission, and the talk paid off.

“It was a really good power play,” Girardi said.

“Brass made a heck of a play to get it to the middle of the ice. I knew I was going to shoot far side. It just happened to go in.”

Stepan made it 4-2 at 6:02, scoring into a wide-open net at the end of a give-and-go play in front with Carl Hagelin, who had a goal and two assists.

Game 5 will be back in Washington on Friday before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The home team has won all four games in the first-round Eastern Conference matchup.

Brad Richards and Hagelin staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead, but goals by Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer tied it for Washington in the second period.

The Capitals closed within 4-3 when defenceman Karl Alzner’s shot caromed in off of Perreault for his second of the game at 7:31 of the third.

Henrik Lundqvist, announced as a Vezina Trophy finalist earlier Wednesday, made 27 saves. Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots for Washington.

New York has won only one series in which it trailed 0-2.

“So far we’re just taking care of business at home,” Lundqvist said. “Coming back home being down two games, we had a lot of pressure, but we stepped up. So far we just tied the series. We still need to do whatever we can to get the next one.”

The Rangers scored four goals in each of their two home playoff wins after registering only one total goal in two road losses.

“We knew it was going to be a tough series,” Holtby said. “They played really well these last two games and there is some stuff we need to work on. It’s a three-game series now. We still have home-ice advantage.”

Despite having a 26-15 shots advantage through two periods, the Rangers found themselves locked in a tie heading into the third. Washington was outshot 13-9 in the second but scored twice in the final 6:52 to get even after Hagelin made it 2-0.

The Capitals began spending more time in the New York zone and making it increasingly difficult for the Rangers to get the puck out. The momentum was shifting, and the nervousness began to grow within the crowd as Washington’s puck possession became more dangerous.

Joel Ward got the Capitals going when he led a strong rush up ice after the Rangers gave away the puck.

Ward charged in, with Perreault, and made a hard move on defenceman Michael Del Zotto. Ward got Del Zotto down to the ice near the left post and feathered a pass through the crease to Perreault, who tied up Richards and slid in his first career playoff goal.

The Rangers appeared set to get out of the second with the one-goal lead they brought into it, but Brouwer’s first of the playoffs tied it.

Defenceman Anton Stralman lost the puck in his end along the right-wing boards, and Mike Green barely kept the puck in at the point. He sent a pass into the high slot to Brouwer, who backhanded in a shot with 17.1 seconds left in the period.

Hagelin’s second goal of the series doubled the Rangers’ lead midway through the second. Brassard, who had a goal and two assists in the Rangers’ 4-3 win in Game 3, made a hard pass from the right point to the left circle that Hagelin fired into the top right corner of the net.

Just Posted

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

The Red Deer U18AAA Braves hit the field this weekend for their first games of the Norwest League season. (Advocate File photo)
Red Deer’s U18AAA Braves ready to open season this weekend

It’s been more than a year since many Red Deer Minor Baseball… Continue reading

Traffic signal upgrades are planned for May 30 at the intersection of 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Traffic light repairs set for 49 Ave. and 51 St. over weekend

Drivers in Red Deer can expect delays at the intersection of 49… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Embrace the omni-present wonderfulness of corn

OK, this week I’m going to get a little corny. So what,… Continue reading

Most Read