Monday, May 07, 2012

6 Seconds From A Win

Capitals 2, Rangers 3 OT Rangers lead series 3-2
Game Summary - Event Summary

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 
That close, just 6.6 from going home with a series lead. But the Washington Capitals took a late double minor that was cost them the game as the New York Rangers tie the game to send it to overtime, and used the second part of the double minor in the extra frame to turn the tables on the Caps and gave themselves the 3 games to 2 advantage as the it shifts back to Washington.

It is a late night, and I would love to write out an entire recap, but that ain't happening. So let's just hit the high and low parts.

- Brooks Laich and John Carlson got the Caps goals. Carlson's goal was scored early in the third on the power play and was the winning goal until Brad Richards tied the game with just over 6 seconds left in the game.

- Let's be truthful, the Capitals had no business being in this game by the way they played in the first period. Having said that, the fact that they kept the Rangers to one goal through the first two periods. The Capitals had a much better second and parts of the third period, but it wasn't good enough for the win.

- Alex Ovechkin was held in check for most of the game. He did get an assist on Brook Laich goal, but it was off of a broken play. Ovechkin and Alex Semin showed signs of some greatness, but made poor choices with the puck when their opportunities arose. Ovechkin had a huge shot block late in the third period when they still had the lead.

- Troy Brouwer had a heck of a game. He had two assists, a +1, won 67% of his face offs, and two shots blocked. He was everywhere tonight, it seemed.

- Braden Holtby was outstanding, and the Caps did not give him enough goal support tonight for him to earn the win. He knocked down 35 shots but couldn't stop the last two, Richards goal in the third and Marc Staal's shot in overtime. What is amazing is Holtby's knack for making the hard saves look like no big deal. When he makes some of the saves that are pin-point from a Ranger core that has trouble finding their shots getting through to the goaltender at all, it is almost demoralizing they way he calmly gloves it or deflects it away.

- Dale Hunter might be dealing with one tired group of hockey players. Their lack of digging deep and finishing out the game, just shy of 6 seconds of taking the series lead themselves, almost proves that this is a war of attrition. It might be time to infuse some fresh legs with players like Dmitry Orlov, Matthieu Perreault and Cody Eakin into the line up. But there is not shame running with the horses that have finished the race in the quarterfinals either.

- If you wanted to pick a goat for game five, look no further than Joel Ward. It was a break down in discipline as Ward took the double minor late in the game. There was no need to pitch fork Carl Hagelin's stick and draw blood. It was a call the Referees had to make and it put the Capitals in an unfortunate position, on their heels for basically a free for all with an extra man for the Rangers. That was a tough thing for Ward to go through. The team was quick to come to his rescue.

"It was an accident," Dale Hunter told reporters. "Those are the breaks of hockey. It accidentally came up. It's just a hockey play."

The positive out of all of this, the Capitals have a crack on home ice to knot the series up at 3 games a piece. Then it is a 50/50 game back at Madison Square Garden. It is certainly not the easy route to go for the Caps, but what have they done this year to make it easy on themselves? 

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