Caps Force Game Seven, Thump Blueshirts

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IApril 26, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26: (L-R) Mike Green #52, Alex Ovechkin #8 and Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals celebrate their goal at 16:44 of the second period against the New York Rangers during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK --The New York Rangers were without coach John Tortorella for game six, and they could have used his leadership to close out the series at Madison Square Garden.

The Washington Capitals used three first period goals to cruise to a 5-3 victory Sunday afternoon and even the series at 3-3.

Milan Jurcina struck first at the 7:09 mark to give the Caps the 1-0 advantage. Just over a minute later, Scott Gomez evened the score at 1-1.

Mike Green answered back at 13:58 to give the lead back to Washington, and a lead they would never lose. Tom Poti came out of the penalty box to silence the crowd with his wrister with 2:43 left. Washington led 3-1 at the first intermission.

Poti, the former New York Rangers defenseman, scored one goal and had three assists. He was named the first star of game six.

Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov both scored in the second period to put the Caps up 5-1 at the second intermission.

Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for the second straight game, allowing five goals on 20 shots in the first two periods.

The Capitals return home to face the Rangers in a do-or-die game seven at Verizon Center. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. from the nation's capital. Remember to ROCK THE RED Caps fans!!!

Also, Simeon Varlamov, who had 29 saves, turns 21 on Monday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY VARLY!!!

Three Stars for Game 6 (all from Washington):
1st - Tom Poti (D): 1 goal, 3 assists
2nd - Simeon Varlamov (G): 29 saves
3rd - Alex Ovechkin (LW): 1 goal