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. Blues sign ’14 first-round pick Fabbri

    Sep 2, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Robby Fabbri Getty Images

    He played a key role in Guelph winning the 2014 OHL championship.

  2. Jeff Deslauriers agrees to tryout with Kings

    Sep 2, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    Jeff Deslauriers Getty Images

    He’ll have a difficult time winning the backup job over Martin Jones.

  3. First rounder Nikolaj Ehlers signs with Jets

    Sep 2, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    Nikolaj Ehlers Getty Images

    He was selected with the ninth overall pick in 2014.

  4. Rinaldo signs two-year extension with Flyers (Updated)

    Sep 2, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Zac Rinaldo Getty Images

    He still has a season left on his existing contract.

  5. Datsyuk interested in playing in KHL someday

    Sep 2, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk Getty Images

    He’s not the only Russian star linked to the KHL recently.

  6. Five PTOs that could be coming to a NHL city near you

    Sep 2, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    dustinpennergetty Getty Images

    Which unsigned vets will look to win jobs at camp?

  7. ‘Hawks farmhand Skinner signs in Czech league

    Sep 2, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks 2007 Headshots Getty Images

    Veteran AHLer had previously spent time with the Canucks, Avalanche and Islanders organizations.

  8. Red Wings GM preaches patience after slow summer

    Sep 2, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

    Ken Holland AP

    “I think it’s a great time for the Detroit Red Wings.”

  9. PHT Morning Skate: Nerds vs. dinosaurs

    Sep 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dragon Con AP

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  10. Oilers GM doesn’t anticipate a trade before training camp

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Edmonton wants to assess Leon Draisaitl, it seems.

  11. Challenging early schedule looms for Sharks

    Sep 1, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi, Marc-Edouard Vlasic AP

    Sixteen of their first 21 games are on the road.

  12. Workhorse goalies, forwards from last season

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Part two of today’s Labor Day posts.

  13. NHL’s hardest working defensemen in 2013-14

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five Getty Images

    Part one of two Labor Day “theme” posts.

  14. Johnston believes Pouliot’s ready for NHL

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Derrick Pouliot Getty Images

    The new Penguins bench boss previously coached the young defenseman.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2009)
  2. D. Krejci (1701)
  3. B. Bishop (1673)
  4. J. Boychuk (1640)
  5. J. Schultz (1623)
  1. E. Staal (1558)
  2. M. Fleury (1541)
  3. R. Lehner (1453)
  4. C. Anderson (1285)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1228)