Rangers In A Hole, Face Elimination On Friday
If getting a shot past Braden Holtby wasn't difficult enough, the New York Rangers are having trouble getting pucks through the Washington Capitals' defense.
Holtby stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced - including a penalty shot - and the Caps' defense deflected or swallowed up another 25 shots as Washington skated to a 2-1 victory and took 3-1 series lead in Wednesday night's Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
New York's lone goal came in the second period off the stick of Derick Brassard, setup by a pretty pass from Marty St. Louis. While it gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead, it was the only blemish against Holtby who allowed just one goal while making 58 saves in front of his home crowd in Games Three and Four of the series.
Andre Burakovsky scored twice for the Caps, who can advance to the conference finals with one more win. Their first chance to eliminate the Blue Shirts comes Friday when the Rangers host Game Five at MSG.
For his part, Henrik Lundqvist was excellent, again. The final on Wednesday could have easily been 5-1, but Lundy made fantastic saves to keep his team in the game. And the Rangers did get their chance, a breakaway that drew a whistle and led to Chris Kreider penalty shot, but that too was gloved by Holtby.