On Monday night the Washington Capitals stole home ice in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals agianst the New Jersey Devils. The Capitals came into Game 2 looking to take a 2-0 series back home to the Verizon Center. With a Caps win, this series would have been a carbon copy of the Western Finals. However, Marty Brodeur and the Devils prevented that from happening.
In Game 1 of this series, both goalies were perfect through the first two periods. However, that was not the case in Game 2. New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk snapped Braden Holtby’s shutout streak at 73:39 by burying a power-play goal past the glove of the rookie netminder. The Devils were able to take their first lead in the series into the intermission.
The Caps were quick to respond early in the second. On a power play of their own, Caps defenseman John Carlson evened up the score at 1-1. Carlson launched a slapshot from the point and got a few lucky bounces as the puck came off of the end boards, eventually hitting Brodeur in the rear and crossing the goal line. After a lengthy delay due to the penalty box door not working properly, the Caps S got another power-play tally. Jason Chimera deflected a Dennis Wideman shot past Marty Brodeur, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. Eventually, the Devil’s were able to capitalize on one of their many surges of the night. Ryan Carter scored a late tip-in goal (18:09) knotting things up to end the period.
The Devil’s came out strong early in the third and hemmed the Capitals in their defensive zone for quite some time. Braden Holtby bailed his team out once in this sequence with a stellar pad save, but he could not stop the David Clarkson deflection. After taking a 3-2 lead, both teams took turns carrying the play. Alex Ovechkin did not see ice time until after the ten minute mark of the period. Something we have seen from Dale Hunter these playoffs. Washington was not able to even the score, ultimately falling in game 2.
The Devils played hard to even the series and outplayed the Capitals during 5 on 5 play. Braden Holtby made 24 saves on 27 shots, but could not out-duel Marty Brodeur who made 23 saves on 25 shots. Holtby and the Caps still have not lost back-to-back games in the playoffs and will look to bounce back in Game 3 on Saturday back at Verizon Center.
Follow on Twitter – dphillips17