Rangers Notebook: Boyle returns, Ovechkin closes door

Brian Boyle.

The Rangers had a 6-foot-7, 244-pound gaping hole in the middle of their lineup dating back to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

It was filled last night with the return of Brian Boyle to the lineup.  

Boyle played 15:20 in Game 2 last night. He finished with a shot on goal, six hits, a takeaway, a blocked shot and won six-of-14 faceoffs.  Boyle had scored three goals in the first five games of the series against the Senators before leaving Game 5 with concussion symptoms following an open ice check by Chris Neil.

He was not in the dressing room after the game, and John Tortorella was not in a mood to evaluate the center’s play.

“I’m not going to assess it with you,” Tortorella said.

Alex Ovechkin, closer?

The Capitals’ captain played 4:22 of the 13:36 of ice time he received last night in the third period. His power-play rocket with 7:27 remaining was the game-winning goal. 

Ovechkin skated to the middle of the ice after receiving Nicklas Backstrom’s clean faceoff win, then lasered a shot over Henrik Lundqvist’s glove.

“[I] felt like I was going to have some pressure, but when I turned I saw that nobody came to me,” Ovechkin said. “[Troy Brouwer] did a great job [going] to the front of the net and it was kind of a lucky shot.”

“That was a perfect shot,” Braden Holtby said. “Lundqvist had no chance. [Ovechkin] played it perfect to his credit. That’s why he’s one of the best goal-scorers in the league.”

During his pre-game press conference, Caps coach Dale Hunter dismissed the notion of moving Ovechkin away from matchups with Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh.

“He’s always going to get Girardi no matter what, just like how he had [Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno] Chara last series,” Hunter said. “That’s the way it is. Ovi is hitting and driving to the net. This will happen.”

Despite the drastically limited ice time, Ovechkin took 10 shots — seven on goal and three others that were blocked. He threw two hits and had a blocked shot.

“He’s a team guy,” Hunter said of Ovechkin after the Caps evened the series. “The one thing about that is that he has been real fresh for the power play. The power play was good tonight [and] he actually got the winner on it. He was fresh to work on the offensive game.”

Tortorella recognized

The NHL’s recognition of the Rangers’ success continued as Tortorella was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year. He was joined by St. Louis’s Ken Hitchcock and Ottawa’s Paul MacLean.

Lundqvist was named a finalist for the Vezina and Hart Trophies last week.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.