WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin rebounded from a rare zero-shot performance by scoring after 88 seconds Wednesday night, Braden Holtby made 30 saves, and the Washington Capitals recovered from a potentially devastating loss by beating the top-seeded New York Rangers 2-1 to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
Two nights after blowing a lead in the last 10 seconds of regulation and losing in overtime, the No. 7-seeded Capitals showed immediately they were over it.
Ovechkin’s power-play goal and Jason Chimera’s second-period score were just enough for the unflappable playoff rookie Holtby.
The teams meet in New York on Saturday night to determine who will face the New Jersey Devils in the conference finals.
The Capitals are proving to be quite adept at bouncing back. They’re 4-0 in games immediately after overtime losses in these playoffs. They haven’t lost consecutive games since March 22-23.
With his mom covering her eyes in the stands, Holtby made only one error, and it came with 50.5 seconds left – a goal that was credited to Marian Gaborik and deflected off a skate and someone in a scrum in the crease.
BLUES: The NHL Board of Governors approved the sale of the team to a group headed by St. Louis beer distributor Tom Stillman, the league announced Wednesday.
The sale price was not disclosed, but is believed to be about $130 million.
DUCKS: Center Saku Koivu has re-signed with Anaheim, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3 million to return for his 17th NHL season.
The 37-year-old Koivu scored 38 points in 74 games for the Ducks last season.