Rangers vs. Capitals: Our live, real-time updates from Game 1 of 2024 playoffs

Game 1 is officially here!

The New York Rangers begin their quest for their first Stanley Cup in 30 years with a first round matchup against the Washington Capitals starting this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts come into the postseason with a ton of confidence, and for good reason. They clinched their first Presidents Trophy — best record in the NHL — in nine years and have won 10 of 13 games heading into the playoffs.

Furthermore, their opponent, the Washington Capitals, squeaked into the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 82. However, the Rangers are massive favorites for multiple reasons, including the Caps’ negative-37 goal differential in the regular season — the worst of a team in the NHL playoffs during the salary cap era.

Will the Rangers come out and take care of business on home ice or can the Capitals, as a sizable underdog, steal Game 1 on the road at MSG?

Here are live, real-time updates of Rangers vs. Capitals Game 1 in the Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden:

Rangers take Game 1 with a 4-1 win over the Capitals

The Blueshirts take the first game of this series with a dominant three-goal victory over Washington.

The Capitals couldn’t overcome the Rangers’ three goals in just over two minutes early in the second period.

Rangers extend lead to 4-1 with 3:43 remaining in third period

Chris Kreider adds to the Rangers’ lead with a breakaway goal after a stretch pass from Mika Zibanejad in their own zone.

5-minute mark of 3rd period: Rangers 3, Capitals 1

With the Capitals’ hopes dwindling, the Rangers continue to consistently have time in the offensive zone and pepper netminder Charlie Lindgren despite not being able to break through.

Under 10-minute mark in 3rd period: Rangers 3, Capitals 1

Slightly over half of the final 20 minutes remaining and the Rangers show no signs of slowing down.

The Blueshirts have seemingly been in control of the puck a majority of this period and are closing in on a Game 1 victory if they continue this play for the final nine minutes.

Rangers nearly capitalize on 2-on-1 chance

Only five minutes into the third, Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko rings a shot off the left post, leaving the Rangers faithful stunned in what was nearly a three-goal lead with just over 14 minutes left in the third.

Third period is underway

Not long after the puck dropped for the third, the Rangers were mere inches away from making it a 4-1 game, but the puck just stayed wide of the net to keep the score 3-1 early in the period.

End of 2nd period: Rangers 3, Capitals 1

After a ho-hum first period, the following 20 minutes were anything but that.

A flurry of goals ensued between the Rangers and Capitals, who combined for four goals in a span of only 3:14 of game time, including the Blueshirts scoring the first three within 2:06 of each other.

It seemed as if the Rangers could do no wrong for the opening stretch of the period.

Now the Blueshirts need to close out.

They enter the second intermission with a 3-1 advantage and are now 20 minutes away from a Game 1 victory.

Capitals finally strike, cut Rangers’ lead to 3-1 with 12:29 left in the 2nd period

With MSG buzzing, Washington silences the crowd with a Tom Wilson goal on a deflected shot that beats Shesterkin.

The Capitals’ goal comes on their eighth shot on net through 27+ minutes of action.

Jimmy Vesey gets on the board, makes it 3-0 with 13:37 remaining in the period

Just when Rangers fans thought they couldn’t get enough, Vesey scores to extend the Blueshirts’ advantage to 3-0 as we near the halfway point of the period.

Rangers strike twice in 32 seconds with 15:10 left in second period

After nearly 25 minutes of scoreless action, the Blueshirts score two goals in 33 seconds to send Madison Square Garden into a frenzy.

Matt Rempe scored the first goal of his playoff goal career 4:17 into the second period.

Less than a minute later, Artemi Panarin kept the Rangers’ fans on their feet with his first of the postseason.

Capitals nearly find the back of the net

Washington easily has its best chance of the night after a Braden Schneider giveaway in his own zone, but the Capitals couldn’t convert on the open pass in front to keep this game scoreless early in the second period.

End of 1st period: Rangers 0, Capitals 0

The first period comes to an end with no pucks in the back of the net. The Rangers killed off a huge penalty to finish the 20 minutes of action, including clearing a loose puck from in front of Igor Shesterkin with time winding down.

Unsurprisingly, Game 1 has featured very little open ice, with both clubs laying it all out from the puck getting to either goalie consistently. In the first period, the Rangers and Capitals combined for 19 hits and 14 blocked shots, clogging the shooting lanes for either club to get in a rhythm offensively.

The Rangers hold the early 11-8 advantage in faceoffs. Both teams are 0-for-2 on the power play so far.

Rangers go back to the power play

After having a few good-looking chances in the previous minutes, the Blueshirts earn their second power play of the first period with 6:18 remaining.

Rangers, Caps both kill off penalties early in first period

Nearly halfway through the first period, Game 1 remains scoreless after unsuccessful power plays from both clubs.

The Rangers killed off a Matt Rempe charging penalty just over two minutes into the game with numerous blocked shots in front of netminder Igor Shesterkin.

The Blueshirts have the early advantage in shots, three to two.

Rangers enter playoffs as substantial favorites for Game 1, series

Before puck drop, it’s important to know what the oddsmakers think of this first round Eastern Conference matchup.

For Game 1, the Rangers are -240 (Bet $240 to win $100) to win the opening contest of this series.

In addition, the Blueshirts are the biggest favorites of the 16 playoff teams to advance to the second round, as they’re a whopping -400 favorite (Bet $400 to win $100 to move on to the conference semifinals.

If the Capitals are able to win one of the first two games at MSG — especially Game 1 — it would be the time to wager on the Rangers to win the series, with the price inevitably lowering if the series is tied heading to D.C.

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