Caps hope to repeat history with Rangers

Caps hope to repeat history with Rangers
May 5, 2013, 3:15 pm
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News and notes as the Capitals head to Manhattan with a 2-0 series lead on the New York rangers heading tinto Game 3 Monday night at Madison Square Garden [7:30 p.m., CSN]:

Where they stand: The Capitals have not had a 2-0 series lead on an opponent since the 2011 playoffs when they won their first two home games against the Rangers. The Caps lost Game 3 in New York, then won Games 4 and 5 to advance to the second round, where they were swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps are 4-5 when winning the first two games of a playoff series. The last time the Rangers have rebounded from an 0-2 series deficit to win the series was in 1996 against the Canadiens, when they won it in six games.

Clamp down: The Capitals held the Rangers without a shot for the final 9:43 of regulation and the entire 8 minutes of overtime on Saturday. Caps coach Adam Oates said that might have been a product of fatigue for the Rangers, who doled out 58 hits, the most from any team in the playoffs so far. Oates also noted that Rick Nash had a breakaway during that span and hit the post.

Tired McDonagh: Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was on the ice for 3 minutes, 4 seconds when he flipped the puck over the glass for the delay of game penalty that led to Mike Green’s overtime power-play goal. Rangers coach John Tortorella, who took a timeout during that extra long shift to give his players a breather, told reporters on Sunday he’d do the same thing over again. “I’d put him on the ice 10 out of 10 times,” Tortorella told reporters. “If it happens again tomorrow, I’d do the same thing."

Injury update: Oates said left wing Brooks Laich would join the team in New York. Laich, who underwent sports hernia surgery in mid-April, has been skating on his own and may hit the ice during the trip. Meanwhile, Rangers gritty left wing Ryane Clowe [suspected concussion] participated in a full contact practice on Sunday and told reporters playing in Game 3 is “a possibility.”

By the numbers: Through the first two games of the series the Capitals are 2-for-7 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill. Nash has no goals on a team-high 11 shots for the Rangers. Alex Ovechkin has one goal and one assist and has a team-high 12 shots. The Caps won 52 percent of their faceoffs in Game 1 and 51 percent in Game 2. The Caps have blocked 38 shots in the two games, led by defenseman John Carlson’ 10; the Rangers have blocked 36, led by defenseman Dan Girardi with nine.