Caps-Rangers Game 4 Notebook

Caps-Rangers Game 4 Notebook
May 5, 2012, 4:08 pm
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News and notes as the Capitals and Rangers prepare for their 12:30 p.m. battle on NBC. The Ranger lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals two games to one.

Kentucky Derby factor: An NBC source told that if today's game goes into overtime -- five of the Capitals' 10 playoff games have -- the network has the leeway to broadcast two full ovetime peruiods before, if necessary, breaking away to Kentucky Derby coverage.

Following OT: Since the 2010 playoffs, the Capitals have gone 6-3 in games following overtime contests. In those nine games, the Capitals own a 3-1 record following overtime defeats. Washington has gone 2-0 following overtime losses during these playoffs.

Marathon night: For the Capitals, Wednesdays Game 3 was their third-longest Stanley Cup playoff contest in franchise history (114:41) and their longest since a quadruple overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996. The thriple overtime game was the longest NHL contest since 2008. Wednesday marked the fifth overtime game the Caps have played during these playoffs, the second-highest mark in a single postseason in franchise history. The Capitals played seven overtime contests during their 1998 Stanley Cup run.

26 and counting: Braden Holtby stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in Game 2 for his fifth career playoff win. Holtby has now gone 26 straight starts in the NHL including 10 in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs without suffering back-to-back setbacks. Holtby has gone 4-0 with a 1.13 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage in games following a loss during these playoffs.

Scoring first: The Capitals are 5-1 during the playoffs when scoring the games first goal, the fifth-highest winning percentage (.833) when scoring first. Teams are 40-21 this postseason when scoring first. Alexander Semin has scored the games first goal twice this postseason.

Shot blockers: Washington ranks second in the NHL in blocked shots (218) and leads the league in takeaways (85) during the playoffs. Four Caps defensemen rank in the top-10 for blocked shots (Carlson-fourth, 27; Hamrlik and Alzner-tied for fifth, 26; Green-tied for 10th, 20). Five Capitals forwards rank in the top-10 in blocked shots by forward skaters. Brooks Laich leads the Caps and is second among NHL forwards in blocked shots (17) while Nicklas Backstrom ranks fifth (13), Jay Beagle ranks tied for sixth (12), Troy Brouwer ranks eighth (11) and Matt Hendricks ranks ninth (10).

Heavy hitters: The Capitals rank second in the NHL in hits during the playoffs (356). Two Capitals rank in the top-3 among hits leaders in the NHL this postseason. Matt Hendricks ranks second (49) while Alex Ovechkin ranks third (45).