Continued from page 1

When he did use it, he made Hunter, at least temporarily, look brilliant. The Caps coach explained that his captain was fresh for the power play and validated the controversial strategy.

“We all want to win. And he’ll do whatever it needs to be. Tonight not too many guys could’ve scored that goal from way out there,” Hunter said. “So every time he’s on the ice he’s dangerous. He doesn’t need to have too much ice to score goals.”

Ovechkin spent his limited time by racking up a few hits and shooting as much as he could. When he hit the back of the net, he exorcised some demons that had been circling in these playoffs.

Of course, rookie goaltender Braden Holtby deserves credit for the Caps tying the series. Holtby bounced back from his worst game of the playoffs to stifle the Rangers at one end while Ovechkin stunned them at the other.

“It’s most important thing right now guys just win the series and win the game,” Ovechkin said. “If you gonna talk about my game time and all that kind of stuff, it’s not a season – it’s the playoffs. How I said before, you have to suck it up and play for team.”