Neither the Rangers nor the Capitals scored on the power play yesterday.
But that sentence, while true, does not adequately sum up the story.
The difference was, New York had five chances — including a 5-on-3 that lasted 44 seconds — while Washington didn’t once skate with the man advantage.
Unlike many observers, Rangers forward Brian Boyle thought his team’s power play — which is 2-for-26 in the series — showed promise on Sunday.
“I think we’ve gotten some good support, gotten in the zone pretty good,” he said, per NHL.com. “I think we had some looks [in Game 6] where Michael [Del Zotto] found a lane, shot it down and I tried to get a deflection. We’ll hopefully get some more deflections. It’s close. We’ve gotten some momentum off of it.
“Obviously it’s not the percentage that [the media] or people think is what you want, but we’re aware of that. We want to score on the power play. I don’t think we’re as far off as some might think.”
To the Rangers’ credit, they won the game, 1-0, forcing a seventh and deciding match tonight at the Verizon Center.
The Caps, meanwhile, would love to put their dangerous power play to work in Game 7. Since getting five chances in Game 1 — “We can’t take that many penalties,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella — they’ve had just nine in the last five games.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.