May 26th, 2024

NHL roundup: Rangers grab 3-0 series lead with 3-1 win over Capitals

By The Associated Press on April 27, 2024.

Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) collides with New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Friday, April 26, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Tom Brenner)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vincent Trocheck had a power-play goal and a short-handed assist, Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves and the New York Rangers moved one win away from advancing by beating the Washington Capitals 3-1 in Game 3 Friday night, taking a 3-0 lead in their first-round NHL playoff series.

The Rangers scored goals at even-strength 5 on 5, up 5 on 4 and down 4 on 5 in a special teams showcase from the Presidents’ Trophy winners who finished atop the NHL regular season in part because of their potent power play.

Trocheck set up Barclay Goodrow short-handed and scored on the power play, while Chris Kreider tipped the puck in for his franchise-best 42nd career playoff goal.

At the other end of the rink, Shesterkin looked like his 2022 Vezina Trophy-winning self, robbing Max Pacioretty alone in front with a right pad stop and turning away Alex Ovechkin, who remains without a point this post-season. Shesterkin was perfect after allowing John Carlson to score on a fluttering shot just over five minutes in.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Friday:

CANUCKS 2 PREDATORS 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Casey DeSmith made 30 saves for his first post-season victory as Vancouver held on to beat Nashville for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

This was DeSmith’s second straight start and third all-time in the playoffs with Thatcher Demko out since the series opener with an injury.

J.T. Miller had a power-play goal and an assist, and Brock Boeser’s power-play goal wound up the game-winner. Quinn Hughes had two assists as Vancouver took back home-ice advantage.

Game 4 is Sunday in Nashville.

AVALANCHE 6 JETS 2

DENVER (AP) – Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin scored on the power play during a five-goal, third-period outburst and Colorado rallied for a victory over Winnipeg.

Alexandar Georgiev stopped 22 shots to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series. Game 4 is Sunday in the Mile High City.

Trailing 2-1 in the final period, Colorado, the highest-scoring team in the league, began pouring it on. The Avalanche scored four times in a 10:24 span to energize the crowd and stun the Jets.

MacKinnon sparked the scoring run with the tying goal and Nichushkin knocked in the go-ahead tally with 15:21 remaining. Nichushkin’s goal came after Jets centre Gabriel Vilardi was given a double-minor for hitting Devon Toews in the face with his stick and drawing blood. Toews left the ice with a towel held to his face.

Artturi Lehkonen and Ross Colton added goals to make it 5-2. Toews, returning from a bloodied face, scored an empty-netter with 3:35 remaining to seal the win.

OILERS 6 KINGS 1

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist, Zach Hyman also scored twice and Edmonton rode the momentum of three first-period goals to a victory over Los Angeles to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round NHL playoffs series.

Connor McDavid (one goal, two assists) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (three assists) also had three-point nights. McDavid is the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1987 to have at least eight assists in the first three games. Gretzky had nine in 1987 and eight in 1981.

Evander Kane added a goal and an assist while Stuart Skinner stopped 27 shots as the Oilers posted a Game 3 rout on the Kings’ home ice for the second time in three years.

Drew Doughty had the Kings’ lone goal early in the second period and Cam Talbot made 35 saves.

Game 4 in the best-of-7 series is Sunday night.

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