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A 'Stache in a Flash Downs Caps

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The momentum seemed to be on the Capitals' side.

    They had scored in impressive fashion on the power play with about five minutes to go in Game 3 Sunday afternoon to tie it at 2, and seemed to take the life out of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

    But in the flash of a 'stache, the momentum -- and the lead -- disappeared.

    Brandon Dubinsky -- he of the 1970s-era playoff mustache -- gave the Rangers a much-needed win in an equally impressive fashion with less than two minutes to go in the game.  He emerged from the left-wing corner with the puck and threw it toward the net. A bounce off of defenseman Karl Alzner's shoulder sent it tumbling past Michal Neuvirth and into the net for a 3-2 win.

    The victory cuts the Caps' series lead to 2-1 and ensures a Game 5 back at the Verizon Center.

    It also gave life to a hockey club that was nearly on life support in the series.

    The Capitals knew they would be in for a dogfight in Game 3 in enemy territory. The Rangers were looking for any kind of spark they could get on offense, and they finally found it in the second period thanks to a goal from a bad angle on Neuvirth.

    Erik Christensen corralled a puck in the right wing corner and fired a shot on goal from just above the end line.  Neuvy looked to cheat a little toward the middle and dropped down to a knee as Christensen's shot whistled past his head and into the net.

    As the period wore on, coach Bruce Boudreau started mixing up his lines to get things going. Alex Ovechkin, who sat a lot in the period as his team killed off numerous penalties, was used with different linemates, including a shift with Jason Arnott with just over a minute to go in the period.

    The plan worked. Arnott took a shot from the right-wing boards as Ovi cut to the net. Using good hand-eye coordination, Ovi tipped the puck with the back of his stick blade past the outstretched Lundqvist to tie it at 1.

    The Rangers looked to have taken the lead again as time expired. Ruslan Fedotenko threw the puck from behind the Caps' net to the crease, where it appeared to bounce off someone's skate and trickle over the goal line as time ran out in the period. The call on the ice was "goal," but after further video review it was nullified, as the overhead camera view had time expiring before the puck entirely crossed the goal line.

    The Rangers went up 2-1 when Vinny Prospal banged home a rebound off a Marc Staal shot from the point with about eight minutes left in the third.

    The Rangers had a chance to add to their lead soon after with a power-play opportunity, but failed to cash in.

    The Capitals, however, showed them how it's done.

    With Marian Gaborik in the box for cross-checking, the Caps tied it at 2 with a solid effort with the man advantage.

    Ovechkin gained control of the puck along the left-wing boards and fired a pass to Nicklas Backstrom at the right circle for a one-timer. Lundqvist stopped that blast, but the rebound popped out to Mike Knuble, who buried it under the netminder with five minutes to go in regulation.

    While it looked like the Caps had the Blueshirts right where they wanted them, it wasn't to be, as Dubinsky's individual effort gave the Rangers new life.

    Game 4 will be played Wednesday night at MSG, with Game 5 back at the Phone Booth at 3 p.m. Saturday.