The late-game goal was reviewed and held up to help seal the win for Washington. The Rangers were upset after the game that Nicklas Backstrom was not penalized for hitting Dan Boyle on the play that resulted in Ward's goal.
Alex Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game, netting a power-play tally with 1:47 left in the first period. The goal was his third of the postseason. Jesper Fast tied it up with 4:39 left in the third period, tipping in a shot from Kevin Hayes. That was the only goal given up by Capitals' goalie Braden Holtby, who made 31 saves on the night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for New York.
The win also snaps a 2-game playoff losing streak against the Rangers for the Capitals, who defeated the Islanders in 7 games in the first round. The Capitals also lost 3 of the 4 regular season meetings against their second-round opponent.
Ovechkin continued his dominance against his team's division rival, as he now has 11 goals and 10 assists in 27 career playoff games against the Rangers. He finished the regular season with 53 goals, 25 power-play goals, and 11 game-winning goals. His goal was the Capitals' first playoff goal scored against Lundqvist in 138:13 of game time, dating back to game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Game 2 of the series will be an afternoon affair in New York on Saturday, with a start time of 12:30 p.m. EST.