WASHINGTON -- When the Rangers lost during the season, one of the reasons often was a poor start.
No one on the Rangers would admit they were a step behind in the first period Saturday after the three-overtime game that ended early Thursday morning. Instead, the fingers were pointed at an early power play in which Anton Stralman interfered with Jason Chimera, who was about to burst by him in mid-ice at 2:25, and an inability to get traffic and shots on Braden Holtby.
"That put us on our heels a little bit," said Marc Staal, who led the Rangers with 24:20 of ice time and notched his second assist of the playoffs on Marian Gaborik's goal that tied the score at 2. "They were able to get some forechecks in on us. They were shooting a lot of pucks, so it took us a while to get hold of a couple and start getting the momentum back. I think we need to get in the goalie's face and create some more goals."
Kreider's time limitedRookie Chris Kreider, whose giveaway to Alex Ovechkin for a goal was costly, was a minus-2 and benched in the third period except for one 31-second shift. He played just 7:34 . . . Artem Anisimov had an up-and-down game with a goal, an assist and one very public dressing-down from John Tortorella; given his animated hand motions, it appeared that the coach was threatening the forward with being benched. He played 18:48 but had just one shot.
Ice chipsThe Rangers were 0-for-2 on the power play . . . Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle also had assists . . . Matt Hendricks went 9-for-9 on faceoffs as the Caps took 55 percent of the draws . . . D Stu Bickel played 7:02 after being on ice for just 3:36 in the three-overtime game. . . . The Rangers outhit the Caps 33-24.