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Rangers Defeat Capitals in NHL Playoffs; Canucks Take 3-0 Lead

Rangers Defeat Capitals in NHL Playoffs
Dan Girardi, left, and Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers celebrate after Dubinsky scored the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photographer: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Brandon Dubinsky’s goal with 1:39 remaining gave the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals that prevented a 3-0 deficit in their National Hockey League playoff series.

The defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks are within one loss of postseason elimination following last night’s 3-2 loss at home to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Rangers trail Eastern Conference top seed Washington by two games to one in their best-of-seven first round series after yesterday’s win at Madison Square Garden. They’ll host Game 4 in New York in two days.

“It’s a series now,” New York defenseman Marc Staal told reporters in the Rangers’ locker room. “We come in the next game in our building and we try to do it again.”

The Blackhawks will look to avoid a four-game sweep tomorrow when they host Vancouver, the top seed in the Western Conference. The Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in yesterday’s other playoff matchup for a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference series.

The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Buffalo Sabres in one of today’s four games -- three of them in the Eastern Conference. The Montreal Canadiens host the Boston Bruins seeking a 3-0 series lead and the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Tampa Bay Lightning tied at one game apiece.

In the West, the Phoenix Coyotes are home against the Detroit Red Wings after losing the first two games on the road.

Dubinsky’s Goal

Dubinsky got the second winning playoff goal of his career when his shot caught Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner in the shoulder and went over goaltender Michal Nuevirth. The Rangers are the eighth seed in the East.

“We have to make sure we don’t get too excited about this,” Dubinsky said. “We’re still down in the series.”

Erik Christensen and Vaclav Prospal also scored for the Rangers, who had a goal overturned after a replay review determined it hadn’t crossed the goal line as time expired in the second period. New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for his first win of the postseason.

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble got goals for the Capitals, who lost their previous two playoff series after leading two games to none.

Washington had outscored the Rangers 4-1 in winning the first two games at home.

The Canucks topped the Blackhawks in Chicago yesterday as Mikael Samuelsson’s goal with 13:21 remaining snapped a 2-2 tie. The Predators got the better of the Ducks in Nashville as Mike Fisher scored the go-ahead goal with 9:39 left.

To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net; Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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