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Rangers-Caps, Game 3: 5 things we learned

Erik Christensen #26 of the New York Rangers

Erik Christensen #26 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second period goal against the Washington Capitals with teammate Brian Boyle #22 during Game 3. (April 17, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

1. The 'stache plays

Brandon Dubinsky, shifted to center from an ineffective left wing after the first two games, had a rock-solid Game 3, capped by his drive to the net and pinball goal with 1:39 left to win it for the Rangers. Dubinsky had a team-high seven hits, the goal and a terrific secondary assist on Vinny Prospal's goal. Also, Dubinsky is sporting some interesting facial hair.

2. The Rangers can get to Michal Neuvirth

In addition to 35 shots on goal (and only 11 blocked), Brandon Prust took it upon himself to get up close and personal with the Caps goaltender as often as possible -- including a little bump when the teams were allowed to take a skate when referee Chris Rooney was being replaced. "The idea is to just get there and create havoc," Prust said. Sean Avery was involved as well, as always, but it was Prust that carried the flag straight to the blue crease yesterday.

3. Alex Ovechkin can be gotten to

Even Caps coach Bruce Boudreau acknowledged that his captain, who still had a goal and an assist, was not very good away from the puck; Ovechkin blamed himself for the turnover that led to Dubinsky's winner. If the Rangers can keep the puck away from Ovechkin, as they did for much of Game 3, he can become a liability in his own end.

4. Dan Girardi is pretty fearless

He was on for both Caps goals and did range a little too far out of position to close off Ovechkin on the Caps' PPG late in the third, but Girardi had five shot blocks, none bigger than the blast by Ovechkin from the high slot after a turnover. It definitely had an effect on the Rangers.

5. The power play is still a shambles

Despite Erik Christensen's impossible-angle goal, the Rangers were still 1-for-7 and didn't generate enough on an 85-second 5-on-3 in the first. Bryan McCabe hasn't gotten off enough shots and Marian Gaborik, despite a solid game at even strength, doesn't seem to be the right man for the point on the PP. He never even looked at McCabe during that 5 on 3.


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