NEW YORK - Less than 48 hours after losing Game One in heartbreaking fashion, the New York Rangers responded with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals to square their NHL second-round series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The best-of-seven series shifts to Washington on Monday night.
Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin’s highlight-reel goal midway through the final period cut the Rangers’ lead to 3-2, but center Derick Brassard’s goal a few minutes earlier proved to be the winner.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots after yielding the winning goal with 1.3 seconds left in Game One. Left winger Chris Kreider and defenseman Dan Boyle added goals for the Rangers, who reached the three-goal mark for the second time in the playoffs.
Center Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Capitals, who got 32 saves from goaltender Braden Holtby.
The Rangers opened the scoring in the first 38 seconds.
Center Derek Stepan moved the puck from the left-wing circle across the ice to cutting right winger Jesper Fast, who had his quick shot stopped by Holtby.
Kreider put the rebound home to give the Rangers at 1-0 lead.
Boyle increased the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal that was the result of great work by left winger Rick Nash.
Boyle snapped a shot that beat Holtby through Nash’s screen to give the Rangers a two-goal advantage at 15:40.
Kuznetsov pulled the Capitals to within 2-1 with 6:01 remaining in the second period for his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Editing by Gene Cherry