Rangers Fall to Caps in Game One

After a 7-2-0 run to end the regular season, the parent New York Rangers dropped their playoff opener Thursday, losing 3-1 at Washington.

The Blueshirts outshot the Caps 36-30, including 28-16 over the final 40 minutes, and scored first in the game, but could not recover from allowing two goals in a span of 46 seconds in the latter stages of the second period.  It was a strange game for Ranger netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who made several sharp saves on Washington power-play chances but allowed an uncharacteristic softie on the second of the two quick ones, a bad-angle heave off the boards by Jason Chimera.

Henrik Lundqvist in Game One at Washington (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Henrik Lundqvist in Game One at Washington (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

“It was a really bad goal,” Lundqvist said of that critical score.  ““I’m very disappointed; I thought I had my pad there.

“It can’t happen, but it did.”

In the mind of Ranger head coach John Tortorella, penalties made the difference, particularly back-to-back minors to Taylor Pyatt (elbowing) and Arron Asham (illegal check to the head) early in the second period, when the Rangers led 1-0.  Washington’s Alex Ovechkin tied the game with Asham in the box.

“We can’t take that many penalties in the game,” Tortorella told the media after the game. “They did get a good bounce off the boards (on the tying goal). You can’t take two in a row. Hopefully, we’ll discipline ourselves next game.”

Kris Newbury, who skated on the fourth line with Darroll Powe and Asham, played a total of 5:24 in the game.  He got 25 seconds of power-play time in the second period, but then skated only one 15-second shift in the third, with the Rangers trying to work their way back from a two-goal deficit.

Game Two is an afternoon game Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, facing off at 12:30.  That tilt will be telecast on NBC.

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