The Washington Capitals carried much of the play in a 3-1 Game 1 win against the New York Rangers on Thursday. The theme of the losing team’s post-game comments was clear, though: they believe it’s crucial to avoid Washington’s dangerous power play.
John Tortorella made that point clear to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti.
“We can’t take that many penalties in a game,” Tortorella said. They get a good bounce off the boards, but you just can’t take two in a row.”
“Hopefully, we’ll discipline ourselves the next game.”
Captain Ryan Callahan echoed those thoughts.
“Against a power play like that, if you’re killing that much, eventually they’re going to capitalize,” Callahan said.
Then again, maybe it’s about execution. The Capitals converted one of their five power-play chances while the Rangers failed on their four attempts.
Many point to Washington’s ability to kill a 5-on-3 as just as much of a turning point. Henrik Lundqvist touched on that with Gulitti:
“They kill it off and they get a couple quick goals, so obviously it changed a lot,” Lundqvist said.