WASHINGTON (AP) — Vincent Trocheck had a power-play goal and a short-handed assist, Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves and the New York Rangers moved one win away from advancing by beating the Washington Capitals 3-1 in Game 3 Friday night, taking a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

The Rangers scored goals at even-strength 5 on 5, up 5 on 4 and down 4 on 5 in a special teams showcase from the Presidents’ Trophy winners who finished atop the NHL regular season in part because of their potent power play. Trocheck set up Barclay Goodrow short-handed and scored on the power play, while Chris Kreider tipped the puck in for his franchise-best 42nd career playoff goal.

At the other end of the rink, Shesterkin looked like his 2022 Vezina Trophy-winning self, robbing Max Pacioretty alone in front with a right pad stop and turning away Alex Ovechkin, who remains without a point this postseason. Shesterkin was perfect after allowing John Carlson to score on a fluttering shot just over five minutes in.

A major reason for the Rangers pushing the Capitals to the brink of elimination in Game 4 Sunday night is that they only trailed in this one for 34 seconds until Kreider tied it. Goodrow’s goal put them ahead exactly 2 minutes later, and they led the rest of the way through some choppy play and a handful of penalties called on either side.

Following up on what they did back home at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, the Rangers scored short-handed goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time since April 1990.

Washington, which was trying to keep play 5 on 5 as much as possible to better even out a series New York had the chance to dominate, again failed to do so. Nearly a third of the game (18:31) was special teams, which plays into the Rangers’ favor.

It also made life difficult on goaltender Charlie Lindgren, who despite a handful of crucial stops allowed three goals on 22 shots. Lindgren, who carried the Capitals into the playoffs by shouldering the load down the stretch, has been unable to get into any kind of a rhythm to perform the same heroics and make this a series.

Injuries haven’t helped the Caps, who were again without two of their top four defensemen: Nick Jensen and Rasmus Sandin. They lost another midway through the first period when Trevor van Riemsdyk was hit up high by Rangers rookie Matt Rempe, who could face another disciplinary hearing six weeks after being suspended four games in March for an illegal check to the head.


A Rangers win in Game 4 would send them to the second round, where they’d face the Carolina Hurricanes barring them collapsing up 3-0 on the New York Islanders.


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