Nash, Ovechkin Being Bottled Up

Through four games, the two biggest superstars in the Rangers/Capitals first round series have combined for ONE goal. To show how insane that is, Rick Nash and Alex Ovechkin have combined for 681 career goals!

So what are the two teams doing defensively to shut these guys down?

Pat Leonard at the Daily News notes that Capitals coach Adam Oates has called for double-teams and defensive collapses from his forwards on Nash, who is already being checked by Washington defenseman John Carlson or whoever else is on the assignment depending on which wing Nash has occupied.

Here's Nash on the Capitals strategy…

"It seems like they're closing down on me. I usually get a lot of space coming off the wall, but they're really using that winger to come down and block it. So I've just got to move (the puck) more and work for my space."

Meanwhile, Dan Rosen at says besides constant pressure from Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers forecheck has led to Ovechkin's lack of scoring…

"As much credit as Girardi and McDonagh get for their play against Ovechkin, Backstrom and Johansson, the Rangers' forecheck was much better in Games 3 and 4 than it was in Games 1 and 2. The forecheck not only led to more offensive chances, but it meant the Capitals' top line had to play in its defensive end, which obviously is not the favorite part of the ice for any of those three players."

John Moore adds that McDonagh has done a great job of staying in Ovechkin's face and not allowing him space to make things happen.

…i've been very critical of the Rangers lack of secondary scoring this season, but they are carrying the Rangers in the postseason. It is way beyond time for Nash to step up his game and make his mark on this series.

…i honestly feel that once he finally finds the back of the net, they'll start coming in bunches. Got to assume he's gripping his stick a little too tight right about now.

…as far as the Rangers defense on Ovechkin goes, other guys besides Girardi and McD are going to be counted on tonight as the Capitals have the final line change and you can be assured Oates will be looking to get his captain away from those two all night. Unless of course Torts just decides to leave McDonagh on the ice for four minute shifts like he did in Game 2.

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