NHL - Play-offs: Rangers fight back

Sun, 17 Apr 23:53:00 2011

Brandon Dubinsky scored with less than two minutes to play to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday and get them back into the first round play-off series.

- 0

Washington leads the best-of-seven play-off series 2-1 with Game Four scheduled for Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Dubinsky backhanded the winner past Washington netminder Michal Neuvirth from a goalmouth scramble after the visitors' Mike Knuble had tied the game at 2-2 with five minutes to go.

New York had goals from Erik Christensen and Vinny Prospal, while the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin also scored.

The Rangers, who were eliminated two years ago by the Capitals, had lost the first two games of this year's playoffs in Washington last week.

The first period was scoreless as the Rangers defense thwarted the Capitals' potent attack and held the visitors' leading scorer Ovechkin without a shot on goal during the opening period.

The Capitals, who ended the regular season in first place in the East, didn't help their cause by having to play shorthanded after drawing eight penalties -- twice as many as the Rangers, who squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed.

New York failed to take advantage of a 5-on-3 advantage at the end of the first period but the Rangers would grab the lead early in the second when Christensen blasted a slap shot past a screened Michal Neuvirth.

Ovechkin, who led the Capitals in the regular season with 32 goals, quieted the raucous crowd with a minute to go in the second, tipping in a Jason Arnott rocket.

At the end of the second period, the Rangers thought they had regained the lead when Ruslan Fedotenko's shot from behind the net was diverted past Neuvirth. But the NHL's video review team ruled it was no goal as the clock had counted down to zero before the puck entered the net.

The Vancouver Canucks pushed defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago to the brink of elimination from the playoffs with a 3-2 victory in Game Three of their first-round series.

The win handed the Canucks a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series, and Vancouver will look to complete the clean sweep in Game Four on Tuesday.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the game-winner at 6:48 in the third period, while goaltender Roberto Luongo finished with 30 saves, as the Western Conference top seeds took a 3-0 lead in the series.

"It wasn't a perfect game, it wasn't pretty, but sometimes on the road in the playoffs you need to win the ugly ones," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa told reporters. "The main thing is we were resilient."

The Blackhawks only scraped through to the playoffs on the final day of the regular season but they are in danger of making an early exit.

After being shut out in the opener on Wednesday, Chicago have suffered consecutive one-goal defeats despite getting off to a promising start on Sunday.

Duncan Keith gave the home team a 1-0 lead in the first period before Vancouver struck back in the second with goals from Christian Ehrhoff and Daniel Sedin, who netted his third score of the post-season.

Vancouver's Raffi Torres, playing for the first time since serving a four-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Edmonton's Jordan Eberle, then hit Brent Seabrook behind the net in the second period and received an interference penalty.

Chicago's Patrick Sharp capitalised on the power-play to tie the score at 2-2 at 12:40.

Trailing 3-2 in the third after Samuelsson's goal, the Blackhawks put an extra attacker on the ice in the final minutes but could not force overtime.

"It's a tough position, but we can't hang our heads," Sharp said. "No one is going to feel sorry for us."

Only three teams have come back from losing the first three games of a series.


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account