Capital Punishment: Rangers Ride Out Of D.C. in 2-0 Hole

Capitals take full control of series with 2-0 win in Game Two

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Apr 15, 2011  |  Updated 10:52 PM EDT
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If only D.C. could handle the budget as easily as it handled the Rangers.

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Thank the heavens that the Capitals aren't the dynamite offensive team that they've been in the last few seasons.

If they were, we shudder to think of what the final score of Friday night's game would have looked like. The Caps dominated the Rangers all over the ice and probably deserved a victory margin much larger than the 2-0 score on the scoreboard at the end of the contest.

They are a different team, though, and that means that they really do put the lion's share of their focus on taking away good scoring chances from the opposition. The mission was accomplished in spades on Friday.

The Rangers had a few brief spurts of competent offensive zone play in the early minutes, but the team then went into a shell that led to nine shots in the final two periods of play. The Capitals broke up passes, blocked shots and hit like they'd get free steaks for every tooth knocked out of a Ranger mouth.

John Tortorella's team, on the other hand, played like they couldn't wait to hop an Acela back to Penn Station. Outside of Game One scratch Sean Avery, there wasn't one Ranger who made a visible attempt to change the game with an aggressive approach to their activities on the forecheck.

That includes Brandon Dubinsky who has been nearly invisible in each of the first two games of his run as the leading Rangers forward. Blame Ryan Callahan's absence if you like, but that doesn't say a great deal about Dubinsky's fitness for a leadership role going forward. 

Scoring opportunities were so far and so few between that it was hard to even recognize them when they appeared. And when they did, you could count on some member of the Caps going above and beyond to keep it from happening.

For those still looking to drink the Kool-Aid, there were things to keep the fire burning until Sunday at MSG. Both Caps goals came during a 1:58 span of the second period, but Henrik Lundqvist played another excellent game and isn't going to be the reason the Rangers lose this series.

The Rangers have proven over the first two games that they are capable of hanging with the Caps for long stretches of games. You look at the scores of the games and you can see that there's still a puncher's chance of turning this around.

Said puncher needs to actually hit his target to score a knockout, though, and the Rangers don't seem to have anyone capable of doing that.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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