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Rangers 0, Caps 0 after 1st period in Game 4

For the fourth time in this series, we're scoreless after one. Here are some thoughts on the first:

The Capitals were greeted with lusty boos as they took the ice, nearly as loud as the cheers for the Rangers. Of course there were some "Boudreau ---" chants.

Not surprisingly, the Brian Boyle-Sean Avery-Brandon Prust line started for the Rangers. Boyle and Prust were in the middle of things as usual in the first, as we'll get into.

Lundqvist's save on an early 2-on-1 raised the decibel level a bit. Later, Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped Avery on a 3-on-2 and Boyle followed up by bowling over Neuvirth, drawing a no-brainer goalie interference call at 7:07. The Caps got just one shot on the power play.

Less than a minute after the kill, the Rangers got their first power play, when Boyd Gordon was whistled for tripping behind the Rangers' net. It was an iffy call and the ref hesitated a bit before raising his arm. Might have been helped out by the roaring crowd.

On the ensuing power play, the Rangers had plenty of zone time but managed one shot. Marian Gaborik danced around two Caps defenders to create the Rangers' best chance, but the Rangers dropped to 1-for-12 on the power play in the series.

In the latter half of the period, the play was more even. Alexander Ovechkin fanned on his best opportunity of the period from the bottom of the right circle. It was a clean chance, but it looked like he rushed it.

A few minutes later, Marco Sturm inexplicably decked a Rangers defenseman, knocking him into Henrik Lundqvist and drawing an interference penalty. On their second man-advantage, the Rangers were awful. They had no zone time and no shots. That quieted the crowd down for the first time all night.

With just over a minute left in the period, Boyle drove to the net and took another pretty obvious goalie interference penalty. He cut across the top of the crease as Neuvirth was moving out and knocked Neuvirth to the ice for the second time in the period. Fans weren't happy about it, but there was no place for the goalie to go.

The Rangers got a break when Prust blocked an Ovechkin chance and the puck caromed by him out of the zone. Prust raced to get to the loose puck and was almost beyond Ovechkin when the Russian took him down, drawing a penalty with 2 seconds left in the period. We'll be 4-on-4 for the first 55 seconds of the period, then the Rangers will have 1:03.


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