1 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Semin's OT goal gives Caps series lead over Rangers

Apr 14, 2011 - 4:14 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexander Semin's goal with 1:36 left in overtime gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

With time winding down in the first extra session, Marc Staal tried to clear the puck out of his own end along the right boards, but Jason Arnott kept it in at the right point. He threw the puck over to the slot where Semin's one- timer sailed past Henrik Lundqvist for the win and series lead.

Semin assisted on Alex Ovechkin's goal with 6:16 to play in regulation while Michal Neuvrith stopped 24 shots for the Capitals, who finished atop the Eastern Conference for the second year in a row.

"Both goalies were outstanding in this game," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "For our team, to take this first game is huge, you always want to start out on top."

Matt Gilroy scored a goal in the first playoff game of his career while Lundqvist stopped 31 shots for the Rangers, who squeezed into the playoffs as the eighth seed on the final game of the season.

"It was a pretty tight game and we battled all night," said Lundqvist. "They played tight too and it was hard to get any good chances out there. It was a tough game to lose in overtime."

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will take place in Washington on Friday.

Washington dominated play for much of the first period, but held just a 9-5 shot advantage due to New York blocking several shots and the Caps hitting posts a couple of times.

The next 20 minutes passed without a goal as Neuvrith had 11 saves through two periods while Lundqvist stopped 17. Neuvrith's best stop came just under eight minutes in on a shot down low from Marian Gaborik.

The first goal of the game came 1:56 into the third period. Good forechecking behind the Washington net saw Brandon Prust wind up with the puck and he backhanded it over to the right side. There, Wojtek Wolski quickly snapped the puck out front and Gilroy one-timed the puck home.

Washington, though, tied the game with 6:16 to play. After Semin threw a shot on net from down low, Lundqvist tried to cover the puck up, but Ovechkin jammed the puck in. The goal was initially waived off, but a replay confirmed the Ovechkin scored his 21st postseason marker.

"What I didn't know was whether the whistle was blown and if the net was off," said Boudreau.

Game Notes

The Rangers took three of the four meetings against the Capitals in the regular season...This is the sixth time these two clubs have met in the postseason. Washington took three of the previous five. The last time was in the conference quarterfinals in 2008 when the Capitals rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win the series in seven games...Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.