NEW YORK - Alex Ovechkin's power-play goal with 7 minutes, 27 seconds remaining snapped a tie and gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers that squared their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece on Monday night.
A little less than six minutes after Ryan Callahan got the Rangers even with a power-play goal, Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead for good after they had squandered a 2-0 lead.
Former Flyer 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 an 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 or fewer goals in six of the previous eight games and four straight, made 22 saves for the Rangers. New York had won three consecutive games, dating from the first round against Ottawa when Boyle sustained a concussion.
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.
The Rangers' much-maligned power play got New York into a 2-2 tie 56 seconds after Knuble was sent off for high-sticking.
New York worked the puck around the Washington zone several times for drives by Del Zotto. The defenseman dropped down from the blue line to the right circle and let go a shot that worked its way through.
After a close-to-the-vest opener, the offenses broke out in the first period - nearly matching the goal and shot totals from the Rangers' Game 1 victory. The teams had combined for four goals and 32 shots, only 14 by New York, in the Rangers' 3-1 victory.