This Date in Caps History - April 26
On April 26, 2009, the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers in a Sunday matinee match at Madison Square Garden in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series between the two teams. The Capitals’ 5-3 victory evened the series at 3-3 and forced a Game 7 at Verizon Center two days later.
With Rangers coach John Tortorella serving a one-game suspension for squirting a Caps’ fan with a water bottle during New York’s Game 5 loss in the District, ex-Caps bench boss and Rangers’ assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld ran the New York bench for Game 6.
The Capitals jumped out to an early advantage, getting goals from three different defensemen in the game’s first frame. Milan Jurcina scored his first goal of the playoffs at 7:09 of the first with help from Brooks Laich and David Steckel to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers’ Scott Gomez answered with a power play goal just 66 seconds after Jurcina’s opening salvo to even the contest at 1-1. At 13:58 of the first, Washington regained the lead for good on a Mike Green power play goal, Alexander Semin and Tom Poti assisting.
With just 2:46 left in the first, Poti scored with aid from Steckel and Boyd Gordon to push the Washington lead to 3-1.
Midway through the second period, Viktor Kozlov scored to run the Caps’ advantage to 4-1. Poti and Sergei Fedorov supplied the helpers on Kozlov’s second goal of the series. With 3:16 remaining in the second, Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal with help from Poti and Nicklas Backstrom to enable to Caps to take a commanding 5-1 lead into the room for the second intermission.
New York got a power play goal from Ryan Callahan early in the third and then Rangers defenseman Marc Staal scored at 19:54 of the game to account for the 5-3 final score. Caps goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves to earn the win and ex-Ranger Poti enjoyed a banner day with a goal and three assists.