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Capitals vs Rangers Recap: Jay Beagle, Unlikely Hero, Braden Holtby, Likely Hero

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In Game 3 of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Washington Capitals defended their home ice against the NHL's top seed.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ice Tracker - Game Summary - Event Summary - Shot Report - Faceoff Summary - Play-by-Play - Home TOI - Visitor TOI - Advanced Stats at: war-on-ice, hockeystats, Natural Stat Trick and more via Nice Time On Ice

The Caps stole one in Madison Square Garden, which is all they needed to do to bring home ice advantage back to Verizon Center, where they would strive to do what the Rangers could not: defend it.

Check back for our full recap later, but first, here's Monday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Braden Holtby. Huge saves in all situations. 2nd career shutout. What more do you want from your franchise netminder?
  • Minus: Reliance on Braden Holtby. It'd be nice to give the dude a little breathing room, eh? You also don't like to see your big guns get dominated on evens on home ice— something that hasn't happened very much in these playoffs.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

  • Let's be honest: you were going to take special note of the power play opportunity discrepancy tonight. So was I. After all, there's plenty of precedent, right? Over the years of Rangers/Capitals playoff tilts, the Rangers have seen a tremendous surplus of power plays on home ice, and the reciprocal advantage for the Caps simply hasn't been there at Verizon Center. The Caps got the first one, and then the second one. They didn't score on em. And they didn't get an advantage at all. And they didn't break their franchise record streak consecutive playoff games with three power plays or fewer. But who cares, because the Caps won.
  • Playoffs included, the Caps have scored first in only two of six games against the Rangers this year— incidentally, those are the only two that they won. They didn't get off to a very fast start, as has been their wont versus the Rangers this year (demonstrated in today's WW/WD), out-attempted 16-11 in the first period. But they scored first. And they won, so who cares?
  • Alexander Ovechkin— like he has for the majority of his decade-long career to date— has been playing magnificent hockey in these playoffs, and the media (and pretty much everyone else around the League) has been taking notice. Well, tonight wasn't his best— after two periods he was at a 33 CF%, his linemates Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward right there with him. They played better in the 3rd, and it was only a strong Henrik Lundqvist that kept them off the board, and their possession numbers did level out a bit. But the Caps won, so who cares?
  • Troy Brouwer watch: well, he was on the ice for the Jay Beagle goal. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
  • Props to Jay Beagle who...you know, isn't a current top six forward, and scored a goal— it was only the 2nd such goal of the playoffs, the other coming off the stick of Brooks Laich. Nice to get off the schnide, eh?
  • Honestly, how many open whacks in the slot can Curtis Glencross fan on in a row? But the Caps won, so who cares?
  • Braden Holtby. Another playoff start, another quality start. 20 saves through two. 30 through three. His second career playoff shutout. This guy is a tremendous goaltender. And he's got a tremendous beard.
  • The Caps' second line of Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Jason Chimera have all seen better days, and this trio was, more or less, thrashed all night. Kuznetsov snuck away from Johansson and Chimera long enough to notch an assist on the scoresheet, but this trio finished the game at a sub-30 CF%. But the Caps won, so who cares?!
  • For the third game in a row, the unnecessary icings were brutal. The second started off with a faceoff won at center ice, followed by an errant dump into the zone, whistled for icing. The Caps then lost the ensuing draw, and Karl Alzner flipped the puck over the boards for an ice. The penalty kill was good, and despite several more instances of unforced icings, they came away unscathed.
  • 69% in the dots tonight for the Caps, including a ton during the ice-the-game-literally for the final 30 seconds of the game. The Caps pivots may not have driven possession tonight...but they made up for it in some other less glamorous areas. Power to 'em.
  • Game highlights: