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Ovechkin: It’s ‘nice’ that McDonagh, Girardi aren’t physical

May 8, 2013, 6:14 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Rangers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 6, 2013 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 4-3.
(May 5, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh played a big role in New York’s game-winning goal at 13:35 of the third period on Monday and he outplayed Alex Ovechkin in the process.

After the contest, McDonagh suggested that he was exploiting Ovechkin’s fatigue while Capitals coach Adam Oates suggested that it was actually his fault for not getting Ovechkin into a good enough rhythm.

Today, Ovechkin defended himself, saying that he felt normal, and then took a bit of a jab at McDonagh and his defensive partner, Dan Girardi.

“McDonagh is a good skater but they don’t play a physical game,” he told CSN Washington. “So that’s kind of nice to know that when you go to the corner they aren’t going to hit you because they play too much minutes out there and their energy level is going down. They block shots, they play safe and it’s a challenge.”

McDonagh has averaged 22:47 minutes per postseason game and ranks near the bottom of the team with four hits. Girardi has been credited with seven hits while logging a team-high 25:59 minutes per match.

Girardi and McDonagh have typically played against the Capitals’ top line and so far they’ve limited Ovechkin to a goal and an assist.

Game 4 will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Washington Capitals have a 2-1 series lead.

Related:

Oates doesn’t think Ovechkin was tired on Rangers’ winning goal

  1. hockeydon10 - May 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Typical mind-games from both sides of this. Really nothing to see here.

  2. puckmepuckyou - May 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Ovi doing a good job at throwing the bait now lets see if the fish are biting.

  3. REDSKINSFORLIFE - May 8, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Hopefully the caps can end the series on Friday at home after a win tonight.

  4. stakex - May 8, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Yup, just the usual back and forth. Though I would point out that McDonagh and Girardi kept him from scoring for the past two games, something that hasn’t happened for a while. So they might not be hitting, but they are keeping him in check….. so far.

  5. watermelon1 - May 8, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    It’s just a shame that the Capitals offensive guys are their most physical.

    Mike green and John Carlson are little babies who just waste space. Sure green scores some… But he’s there to DEFEND first. And he’s not good at that.

  6. 19to77 - May 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    McDonagh and Girardi: It’s nice that Ovechkin was so easy to shut down again tonight.

  7. girouxed - May 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    @19to77 easy to shut down? They nearly tied the game at the end of the third. Definitely not easy.

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