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Washington Capitals shut out New York Rangers to take 2-1 series lead

 Washington Capitals shut out New York Rangers to take 2-1 series lead
The Capitals celebrate around center Jay Beagle (83) after his second period goal in Game 3 of the second round playoffs against the New York Rangers. The Capitals won 1-0. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Braden Holtby made 30 saves Monday night for his second career playoff shutout and Jay Beagle scored his first goal of this postseason, giving the Washington Capitals a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers.

Washington has a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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Alex Ovechkin was held without a goal for the first time in the series. It was one of the Capitals' less-heralded players, Beagle, who put the puck past Henrik Lundqvist on a second-effort, deflected shot 7 1/2 minutes into the second period.

Holtby was at his glove-catching best, including stopping Martin St. Louis on a one-on-one six minutes after Beagle scored, and the crowd chanted the goalie's last name at the final buzzer.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is at Washington on Wednesday night.

This was the type of nail-biter the Rangers play: They have participated in 10 consecutive playoff games decided by one goal, an NHL record.

And in seven of its eight games in this year's playoffs, New York has allowed two goals or fewer.

But under first-year Coach Barry Trotz, and with Holtby matching Lundqvist save for save, the Capitals are proving just as adept at this sort of tight, low-scoring hockey.

Despite getting outshot, 30-22, the Capitals did manage stretches of sustained pressure in the Rangers' zone, including leading up to the only goal. And the score came from a surprising source: the line of Beagle, Troy Brouwer and Andre Burakovsky. They had no goals through Washington's first nine games of this postseason.

Off passes from Brouwer and Burakovsky, Beagle sent a shot on net that Lundqvist swept aside. But Beagle kept at it, going to the boards to collect the rebound, then swooping around the back of the net for a backhand shove of the puck. It appeared to ricochet off defenseman Keith Yandle, then Lundqvist's left skate on its way in.

That gave Beagle three goals in 33 playoff games following a regular season in which he scored 10 times.

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