WASHINGTON -- The hits just kept on coming. There were 108 in Saturday's 1-0 overtime loss to the Capitals, 58 by the Rangers.
The Rangers' mission statement clearly was to get the puck in deep and grind the Capitals' defense, and try to keep the puck on the Caps' side of center ice. The players did their job, as all 18 Rangers skaters were credited with at least one hit. Ryan Callahan had eight, Darroll Powe had seven in eight minutes on ice, and Brian Boyle had six.
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Way back for a double zeroThe last time the Rangers were in a playoff game that was 0-0 through the end of regulation was Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals on April 13, 1933, against Toronto. Bill Cook scored in overtime to win the game and the Rangers captured their second Stanley Cup.
John Tortorella was terse: "Create more offense." He changed the lines during the game in order to do so, he said, "and due to some matchups." Although he did not name players, he moved Rick Nash from Brad Richards' line and tried Boyle in place of Derick Brassard on the third line. Brassard had no shots and struggled defensively. Taylor Pyatt also had no shots on goal.
The Rangers had 21 blocked shots, five by Dan Girardi. The Caps had 13 but also forced the Rangers to change angles, and 20 shots missed the net. "They get in the lanes well," Girardi said. "It's a matter of us . . . beating their pressure and creating a lane for us and try to get shots through when we can." . . . The Capitals are 15-7 at home against the Rangers in the playoffs. It was the team's first postseason shutout since a 2-0 blanking of the Rangers on April 15, 2011 . . . Mike Green's goal was the eighth of his career in the playoffs and first in overtime.