NEW YORK In just over 21 minutes of ice time Alex Ovechkin managed one shot on goal, delivered three hits, took a tripping penalty and was a minus-1.
In just over 16 minutes Alex Semin took three shots and two penalties and was a minus-1.
In 19:36 of ice time Nicklas Backstrom managed one shot, hit three posts and was a minus-1.
And in 21:45 of ice time Mike Green recorded one shot, had seven either miss the net or blocked and was a minus-2.
In short, if the Capitals hope to make their way to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1998, they'lll need better play from their four best players than they received in Saturdays 3-1 loss to the Rangers.
Absolutely, Backstrom said. We have to start scoring goals. We had a couple chances, but overall I dont think we played vey good. Weve got to play a little tighter and just be better. That's not good enough.
After facing Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg for seven grueling games, Ovechkin was forced to deal with the Rangers top defensive pair of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. Neither play as physical as the Bruins top two defensemen, but they did an excellent job of taking away Ovechkins space and shooting lanes.
We tried to stay up in his face and not give him too much room to wheel around with the puck, said Girardi, who logged a game-high 24:38. When hes coming down the wing you try to keep him to the outside. If he does cut to the middle you pass him off to your partner and take his space away and try to make his life hard.
Ovechkin, who had two goals and three assists against the Bruins in Round 1, said the Capitals need to run more traffic in Henrik Lundqvists crease if they hope to even the series on Monday night.
Theyll also need to generate more than 18 shots.
We have to play much better, Ovechkin said. We have to step it up Its only one game. Next game is going to be a different game and its going to be a new day.