The Washington Capitals had 39 shots on goal, and hit the post twice, but only got one puck behind Henrik Lundqvist as they fell in Game Four to the New York Rangers 2-1.

Alex Ovechkin gathered his first goal of the series, and hit the post late in the third period. Sergei Fedorov also clanged one off a pipe. And as hard as Sean Avery tried to give the Caps an advantage, they just could not capitalize on two late power plays, and ended up going 0-for-6 with the extra man.

Henrik Lundqvist was again "the man" for New York, making 38 saves and generally looking twice his size in net against the Washington snipers. But other than sheer volume, he wasn't particularly tested, with most shots coming from the perimeter.

The goal he allowed, as well as the two that rang off posts, were from long distance.

There was precious little net-charging from the Caps forwards as there was in Game Three's 4-0 Caps victory.

Simeon Varlamov played well again for Washington in goal, and the Rangers' first goal, a slap shot by Paul Mara that was redirected in the face-off circle, certainly could not be attributed to the 20-year old rookie.

But the game-winner was another story. Rangers' captain Chris Drury lofted a wrist shot that perhaps surprised Varlamov with it's softness, and the goalie could not close his glove on it. The puck bounced right back to Drury, and he chipped it over the confused goalie's right shoulder for the difference maker.

After the second goal, Washington played with a ferocity that they should have opened the game with. They dominated play in the second and third period, outshooting the Rangers 30-10 over the two periods.

Washington even had the advantage on power plays. Mara took an interference 31 seconds after Drury's goals, but the power play came up empty on that, and each subsequent attempt.

The Caps were 0-for-6 on the power play, and despite their laurels for performance in the regular season, their lack of success with the extra-man in this series could haunt them.

"We have one of the best power plays. We have no excuse. We need to be better," said Mike Green from a dejected locker room.

Sean Avery gave the Caps two opportunities to take advantage of the extra man in the third. He swung wildly with a backhanded fist that landed on Milan Jurcina's nose, drawing blood and a two-minute roughing at 10:21 of the third, and hit Brian Pothier with a high-stick with 3:06 remaining.

Washington would keep the puck in the Rangers end the entire two minutes of the ensuing power play, but despite a flurry of shots, Lundqvist stood tall and kept the net clean. Neither team had an opportunity to change players, and all nine skaters were dead tired at the end of the shift.

The fatigue was still evident in the final minute, as Ovechkin, Green, et al. had trouble even moving the puck after Varlamov was lifted for the extra skater.

Game Five will be Friday night back at the Verizon Center at 7:00 p.m., with the Caps playing to avoid an embarrassing first round elimination.