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Rangers continue to struggle on power play

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Alex Ovechkin tries to create more problems for the Rangers as they try to get their power play going.Alex Brandon/AP

Alex Ovechkin tries to create more problems for the Rangers as they try to get their power play going.

WASHINGTON – Derick Brassard reminded everyone before this series started that recent Stanley Cup winners all haven’t had the best power plays, but that’s no excuse for the Rangers’ ineffectiveness with the man advantage.

The Blueshirts were 0-for-2 Monday night with just three shots on goal to bring the power play to a measly 4-for-28 (14.3%) this postseason, and 1-for-6 this series.

Their lone goal was Dan Boyle’s point wrist shot in Game 2 that went in because Rick Nash had completely screened goalie Braden Holtby.

Most of Monday the Rangers spent their power play time turning around to retrieve the puck in their own zone.

“Sometimes you kind of overthink it,” captain Ryan McDonagh said when asked if players are hesitant to shoot even when the power play gets set up. “You think (Holtby) has got a … clear lane, he’s gonna stop it, but at the same time he could create a rebound. So instead of trying to find a guy off to the side or maybe a little closer to net, you’ve got to try for a rebound.”

For the record, the Los Angeles Kings’ power play may have been 27th in the league at 15.1% efficiency last regular season, but in the playoffs, they scored 20 power play goals and improved to 23.5%. The Rangers were 16.8% this regular season and has been even worse when it’s mattered most.

“I had a couple of good looks to try to get a puck towards the net,” McDonagh said, “but I looked a different direction. It’s tough because you’re not gonna get too many opportunities on the power play in the playoffs most games, and we’ve got to find a way to get one by him there and continue to work at it.”

The unproductive power play wasted a 2-for-2 performance by the penalty kill, thanks to Henrik Lundqvist saves on Alex Ovechkin and a rebound denial of Joel Ward.

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