Rangers finally get faceoff advantage
The Rangers couldn't match the Ottawa Senators in the faceoff circle, and without centers Brian Boyle (concussion) and Brandon Dubinsky (lower-body injury) in Game 1 against the Capitals, coach John Tortorella was concerned.
After all, they finished on the short end in faceoff-winning percentage in five of the seven games in the conference quarterfinals against Ottawa.
As it turned out, the Rangers not only won their third consecutive game, they won 52 percent of the draws. Brad Richards was 12-for-24, Derek Stepan 7-for-14, Artem Anisimov 4-for-7 and John Mitchell 3-for-4. "I thought we did well in the faceoffs, which were worrisome going into tonight," Tortorella said.
Rather than spare forward John Scott, who was obtained at the trade deadline from Chicago, Tortorella used seven defensemen. Steve Eminger, who hadn't played since March 15, when he severely sprained an ankle, was inserted as a fourth-line forward and played 4:25.
Prust angry at call
Brandon Prust was fuming about the boarding call that created a five-on-three power play for the Senators in the second period. He was asked if anybody was happier than he was after the Rangers killed it. "Yeah," Prust said. "The ref."
Richards likes tradeoff
Brooks Laich decked Brad Richards from behind with a late crosscheck after his score, but Richards -- who leads the Rangers in playoff scoring with six points -- wasn't that annoyed. "Not after a goal,'' he said. "They can do whatever they want."
Ryan Callahan had eight hits and is the playoff leader with 38 . . . Each team was 0-for-4 on the power play . . . Derek Stepan, who fed Chris Kreider for his game-winning goal, has a three-game point streak (1-4-5) . . . Marian Gaborik was awarded the second assist on Richards' goal but hasn't scored a goal in seven games . . . Ryan McDonagh, who assisted on Artem Anisimov's goal for his first career playoff point, led the Rangers with four shots . . . It was the Capitals' first game in the last eight that wasn't decided by one goal.