Braden Holtby, Karl Alzner, Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan says the Caps “were more desperate” in Game 2


The intensity the Washington Capitals brought in their Game 2 victory helped show the New York Rangers that this playoff series wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. After getting outworked in Game 1, the Capitals tapped back into what helped them get past the Boston Bruins in the first round.’s Chuck Gormley hears it from Rangers captain Ryan Callahan they expected a big push back from the Caps and handled it poorly.

“They were more desperate than they were [in Game1],” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said after the Capitals evened their bet-of-seen series with a 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden. “I thought they competed a lot harder; we expected that. We knew they were going to come out hard.”

Desperation like Washington showed in Game 2 helped make sure they could go back home all even.

Outside of Alex Ovechkin’s game-winner, the goals weren’t pretty to see. They were dirty, grimy, blue-collar style goals that saw the Capitals force play on the Rangers and make them uncomfortable. Doing all that while Braden Holtby (and the iron behind him) kept New York out is just how Dale Hunter wants to see things. Keeping that desperation level up the rest of the way will be the trick the Caps need to pull off if they want to get to the Eastern Conference finals.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.