Skip to content

Capitals beat Rangers at their own game, take 2-0 series lead with Michal Neuvirth shutout

Apr 15, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Two Getty Images

In almost seven periods of playoff hockey* against the New York Rangers, Michal Neuvirth has allowed one measly goal, including a 22-save shutout tonight. The rookie netminder stopped all but one of the 47 shots he’s faced in his first two career playoff games as the Washington Capitals ground their way to a 2-0 series lead.

Neuvirth’s performance can mean a few things. To some, it reveals that the young netminder is cool as a cucumber in the Capitals net, showing that his AHL playoff successes might point toward victories at the highest level. Others will gravitate toward Washington’s resounding metamorphosis from a free-wheeling offensive juggernaut to a defense-first team with a handful of game-breaking scorers. Meanwhile, depressed Rangers fans might argue that the spotlight should be shined upon their impotent offense.

All three factions have a point, but either way, the Caps are up 2-0 in this first round series.

Washington 2, NY Rangers 0; Capitals lead series 2-0.

Two was the magic number of this game, as Washington won 2-0 to take a 2-0 series lead thanks to two goals scored in about two minutes during period No. 2.

Jason Chimera scored the game-winner at even strength while much-ballyhooed veteran Jason Arnott gave his team an insurance marker on the man advantage. Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green notched assists on Arnott’s power-play goal.

Neuvirth didn’t have to do a ton in his 22-save shutout, but Henrik Lundqvist might have some regrets – at least from a statistical standpoint – as he allowed those two tallies on only 18 shots.

The Capitals continue to play the tight-checking, defensive minded game that many found lacking from their playbook in previous seasons. Before they get too cocky, it’s important to note that Game 3 will take place away from home, so Washington technically only managed to “hold serve” at this point.

As happy as Washington must be right now, it’s important to note that they’ve only managed to score four goals in seven periods of hockey. Obviously, allowing a single tally in that span shows they’re playing the kind of inelegant style that can get things done, but they shouldn’t let these tough wins get to their heads.

Instead, they should be like Arnott, who avoided celebrating in the team’s post-game huddle. Sure, he did so because he once suffered a concussion in that situation when he was with Nashville, but he should spin it as yet another savvy veteran move. After all, the Capitals hope to celebrate much bigger accomplishments during the next two months, don’t they?

* Counting a near-complete period of overtime hockey in Game 1.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Callahan (lower-body injury) leaves game against Oilers

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Caught Taylor Hall with a heavy hit earlier in the game.

  2. Don Cherry: ‘Something’s gotta go’ in Edmonton

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT

    Don Cherry Getty Images

    Talking about the Oilers perhaps trading one of their young players.

  3. Video: Callahan crunches Hall

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Heavy hit along the boards.

  4. Canucks coach Desjardins on return to Dallas: ‘It means I want to win more’

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT

    WillieDesjardins AP

    That’s about as much trash talk as you’re going to get from Willie D.

  5. Report: Drouin to make NHL debut against Oilers after all (Updated: It’s official)

    Oct 20, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT

    Jonathan Drouin AP

    Alex Killorn is – again, this is based on same report – out of the lineup.

  6. Leafs’ Biggs, mired in ECHL, ‘really felt the onus’ of being 1st-rounder

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Tyler Biggs Getty Images

    “He’s got to go and maybe play out of the spotlight that we have here in Toronto.”

  7. Coyotes concerned about Smith’s struggling psyche

    Oct 20, 2014, 7:57 PM EDT

    mikesmithgetty Getty Images

    “I’ve played three games and it hasn’t gone even close to the way it needs to be.”

  8. Maybe tomorrow? Drouin won’t play tonight versus Oilers

    Oct 20, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    Coach Cooper cites the long trip to Edmonton from Syracuse as reason to keep the rookie out against the Oilers.

  9. Sabres to retire Hasek’s jersey on Jan. 13

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT

    Dominik Hasek AP

    A fairly well-deserved honor.

  10. Goalie nods: Big game for Scrivens vs. Bolts

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 24: Ben Scrivens #30 of the Edmonton Oilers in action against the Phoenix Coyotes during an NHL game at Rexall Place on January 24, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) Getty Images

    News and notes from the blue paint…

  11. Bruins’ Miller out indefinitely after dislocating shoulder in fight

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

    Miller

    Matt Bartkowski expected to step in tomorrow versus San Jose.

  12. Flames sign Brodie, who’s ‘going to be a big building block’ for team

    Oct 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

    T.J. Brodie AP

    Already has seven points in seven games this season.

  13. Voynov arrest of ‘great concern’ to Kings, who support NHL’s suspension

    Oct 20, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Club addressed the domestic assault charges in a brief statement Monday.

Featured video

Why are we talking about fighting... again?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (3239)
  2. J. Drouin (2605)
  3. M. Gaborik (2494)
  4. J. Spezza (2449)
  5. E. Staal (2371)