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NHL: Caps even series with Rangers

By Ira Podell

Associated Press

Published: Monday, April 30 2012 11:16 p.m. MDT

New York Rangers Michael del Zotto (4) reacts as Washington Capitals right wing Mike Knuble celebrates after scoring the Capitals first goal in the first period of Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, Monday, April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Alex Ovechkin's power-play goal with 7:27 remaining snapped a tie and gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers that squared the Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1 on Monday night.

Just under 6 minutes after Ryan Callahan got the Rangers even with a power-play goal, Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead for good after they squandered a 2-0 lead.

Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera scored first-period goals for the Capitals, who will host the next two games of the series. Washington is trying to repeat its first-round feat when it lost the series opener but rallied to beat Boston in seven games. The Capitals have earned four of their five wins in this postseason on the road.

Brad Richards had a goal and assist, and defenseman Michael Del Zotto had two assists for the top-seeded Rangers, who got forward Brian Boyle back from a three-game injury absence but couldn't turn it into a commanding lead in the series.

New York rebounded from a 14-shot performance in its series-opening win and fired 28 shots on goalie Braden Holtby. But the increase in numbers produced fewer results.

Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed two goals or fewer in six of the previous eight games and four straight, made 22 saves for the Rangers.

New York killed a penalty against Boyle moments after Callahan's tying goal at 6:58, but Ovechkin struck off a clean faceoff win by Nicklas Backstrom during another power play. With Richards in the penalty box for holding, Ovechkin fired a shot from inside the blue line past Lundqvist to make it 3-2.

KINGS 5, BLUES 2: At St. Louis, Anze Kopitar scored twice in a four-goal, first-period blitz as the Kings embarrassed the Blues from the opening faceoff, whipping St. Louis for their fifth straight road win this postseason.

Brad Richards and Jeff Carter had a goal apiece and Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown each had a pair of assists in a period that was one goal shy of the franchise playoff record of five in 1993 against Vancouver.

Brown assisted on Kopitar's short-handed goal and has a hand in all four of the Kings' short-handed goals in the playoffs, two goals and two assists.

Andy McDonald scored 18 seconds into the second for St. Louis but Justin Williams squashed thoughts of a comeback when he scored on the Kings' first shot of the period, then they sat on that cushion, taking five shots the last two periods.

Matt D'Agostini scored in the third for St. Louis, which was 0 for 9 on the power play

Kopitar has three goals and three assists in the playoffs, and has scored in five straight playoff games after leading the Kings in scoring for the fifth straight season with 25 goals and 76 points. Brown added a third assist in the second period and has a team-leading nine points in the postseason.

The Kings have won seven straight on the road in the playoffs counting a pair against San Jose last spring and are in an enviable spot taking the series back to Los Angeles, with Game 3 Thursday night.

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