NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — So the Capitals officially choked in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, losing four out of five games to the New York Rangers after taking a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Well Capitals right-winger Alex Ovechkin isn’t giving them all the credit. In fact, he’s deflecting some of that credit and pinning it on the referees.
“I am not saying there was a phone call from (the league), but someone just wanted Game 7 — for the ratings,” Ovechkin told NHL contributor Slava Malamud of Sport-Express, a Russian daily sports newspaper. “You know, the lockout, escrow, the league needs to make profit … I don’t know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the league. But to not give obvious penalties (to the Rangers), while for us any little thing was immediately penalized…”
The former first-overall pick recorded just one goal and one assist in the seven-game series. In the regular season, he tallied 32 goals and 24 assists in all 48 games.
Washington was penalized far more than New York was in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The Rangers had 28 power-play opportunities while the Caps had just 16.
Game 7 on Monday night was a lopsided affair, as the Rangers dominated the Capitals, 5-0.
“The refereeing … You understand it yourself,” Ovechkin told Malamud. “How can there be no penalties at all (on one team) during the playoffs?”
The third-seeded Capitals disappointed in the playoffs yet again, something they’ve made a habit of doing over the last few years. Washington has lost a Game 7 at home four times in the past six seasons.
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