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Green broke through with a wrist shot from the right circle in the first period that gave the Caps the lead for good at 2-1.

“We switched up a little bit and changed my position on the power play,” he said. “I’m finally feeling better and have a lot more energy. When the puck comes to me, I have some strength to shoot it.”

The switch - Alex Ovechkin moved to forward as Tom Poti claimed the other point position - was much needed. Ovechkin has a world-class shot, but the theory here has been that the 225-pound tank would be more effective closer to the goal.

On some of the power plays Sunday, Ovechkin played the half wall and was roaming in the low slot, forcing the Rangers to account for him.

When Alexander Semin’s shot hit traffic and deflected to Green, he wasted no time. Who would have thought Poti, Milan Jurcina and Matt Bradley would score in this series before Green?

“He gets the first one, and hopefully he’ll start to get more goals,” Jurcina said.

Green has played a strong defensive series, teaming with Shaone Morrisonn to shut down the Rangers. Before two New York garbage-time goals in the third period, the Caps were outscoring the Rangers 17-8.

Green’s main goal is to help the Caps win their first postseason series in 11 years; his secondary goal is personal - show Team Canada boss Steve Yzerman he’s sound enough in his own zone to earn a big role in next winter’s Olympics.

“Maybe I’ve been criticized in the past about my defensive zone play, and I’ve taken it upon myself to be responsible,” Green said. “It seems like when I’m playing well defensively, I get offensive chances.”

His defense has been a constant during his series, and the offense returned just in time Sunday.