Rangers Squeak Out of Washington With 2-0 Series Lead

Robby KrevatContributor IApril 19, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 18: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes the save as Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks for a rebound during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. Dan Girardi #5 of the Rangers also helps out. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 1-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I've previously written about questionable refereeing in a game against the Penguins and I'll lead off this article by bringing it up again.

Both of the first games in Washington have had questionable refereeing, and it's not just in favor of the Capitals, but it's been in favor of the Rangers as well. 

Although, the Rangers power play was ineffective in both games in Washington, some of the calls made to give the Rangers their power plays were on the edge, especially in the second game.

In game one it could be argued that the penalty on Dan Girardi in the first minute of the game was questionable, as well as some others.

The questionable refereeing evened out on both sides, however, at least the questionable refereeing was consistent for the most part, as to what was allowed and what wasn't.

Beyond the penalties, the Rangers have managed to leave Washington and return to MSG for Monday night's game with a 2-0 lead in the series. They have kept AO scoreless, with only two assists in the two games.

The clear advantage the Rangers have had has been goaltending.

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Henrik Lundqvist has been stellar whereas the Capitals' two goalies have been mediocre considering the Rangers offensive zone presence has been minimal through the two games.

Defensively, the Rangers have been solid as a five-man defensive unit for almost 120-minutes played in Washington.

They've been blocking shots, making good passes, patient, and calm. This is the reason for the Rangers two road victories.

In game two, it was obvious that Alexander Ovechkin was trying to do everything himself. He tried through the legs dekes, and spin around moves, none of which worked because of the Rangers poise.

Game three will take place Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Hopefully the Rangers will be able to take advantage of their home ice and put some pucks in the net. If not, this is going to be a long series.