The Washington Times - May 3, 2013, 10:43AM

On the score sheet, none of this is surprising: Alex Ovechkin scored a goal on the power play for the Washington Capitals. It also isn’t a shock that the NHL’s top power play during the regular season was one of the sparks in a Game 1 victory over the New York Rangers.

“Obviously the goal was big. The power plays early [were] decent, we did some good things,” coach Adam Oates said. “They have a good PK, a good goalie. We expected that. Maybe a little jitters. I thought the first power play, getting one early, got us into the game a little bit.”


That the Caps went 0-for-3 on the power play to start the playoffs was unusual because the Rangers seemed to have every answer.

“I think they had more chances on our PP than we did,” right wing Troy Brouwer said.

That made the fourth power play of the night that much more important. The Rangers, as is their reputation, blocked a lot of shots and forced Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom to hesitate early, but the defenseman’s adjustment created Ovechkin’s goal.

Green shot the puck wide and off the back boards, and Ovechkin was there to fire the loose puck into the net past a helpless Henrik Lundqvist.

“Whether it was on purpose or not, it ended up working out great,” Brouwer said. “We always want those guys to crash the net: Ovi for rebounds there, [Mike Ribeiro] or Nicky on the other side to try and get puck recovery. He made a great play chipping the puck over Lundqvist as well.”

Ovechkin’s goal was the 31st of his career in the playoffs, putting him past Peter Bondra for first in franchise history. The captain has 60 points in 52 NHL postseason games.

Ovechkin said his goal was “kind of a lucky bounce, but I’ll take it.”