The Capitals had seen this movie before. It was a horror flick. Washington had more shots, more hits, more blocks and more quality scoring chances than the New York Rangers in Game 1 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Wednesday night. But the Caps still found themselves trailing late in regulation. Memories of last spring's frustrating postseason loss to Montreal were difficult to escape. But this time Washington decided to write a different ending – at least for the series' first contest – when Alex Ovechkin scored late to tie the contest and Alex Semin lifted his club to a 2-1 victory with a goal at 18:24 of overtime. Ovechkin's game-tying tally came with just 6:16 to play after jamming a loose puck past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (31 saves) to tie the game at 1. The referees needed video replay to confirm the goal was good. But that eventually sent the game to overtime, setting up Semin's heroics after a turnover by New York defenseman Marc Staal and a quick feed from teammate Jason Arnott. Semin drifted into a wide-open slot and rifled his shot past Lundqvist and into the top-left corner of the net. It was his first playoff goal since Game 7 of a first-round series against New York in 2009 – a drought of 14 postseason games. "I feel great. We won the game. That's the most important thing," Semin said through translator Slava Malamud. He later added "I just saw the puck get intercepted. It's just a situational play. I tried to get open and shoot as soon [as] possible because the defenseman was right there." The Caps started strong. They outshot New York just 9 to 5 in the first period, but generated plenty of scoring chances. Semin rang Lundqvist's crossbar and 17 seconds later Arnott did the same. Both Mike Knuble and Ovechkin whiffed on cross-ice passes while at the doorstep left of Lundqvist's crease. Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson, meanwhile, couldn't quite connect on a flurry in front with the open net yawning.
Caps take Game One on OT winner by Semin
Washington Examiner | Apr 14