I wasn’t going to write about any 1st round action until it was completed so I could do a First Round Recap, but one of my followers who doesn’t have any problem contacting me urged me to do otherwise. Josh, here is your write up of last night!!
The Washington Capitals showed us something last night, they showed us that they aren’t last year’s team and that this year’s team learned from it’s past. If this were last year the Caps would have hung their heads when they found themselves down 3-0 against the New York Rangers and arguably one of the best goaltenders in the league in Henrik Lundqvist. This year, they did the opposite by raising their level of intensity and showed a true will to win. The Caps gave up 3 goals in the 2nd period, the Garden was rocking and the Rangers had full control. Then the 3rd period started and the Capitals showed the WORLD the difference a year makes, this mentally tough team began one heck of a rally. Just 2:47 seconds into the 3rd period Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, what stood out to me was the type of goal it was. It wasn’t an exciting or awe inspiring play that resulted in the goal being scored, rather it was a blue collar type goal that ignited his team and let the Rangers know that they weren’t going down without a fight. Only a minute passed before the Caps scored again, this time it was Marcus Johansson who redirected Brook Laich’s attempt into the net!! The Caps were now only down one after being shut out for 2 periods, they scored 2 within 57 seconds of each other!! The Rangers could sense the change in the Caps, they tried to tighten up on D and hold on for the win. It didn’t work that way, Sean Avery got called for slashing and the Caps were on the power play. The Rangers successfully killed the power play, but Johannson struck again almost as soon as the Rangers returned to even strength. It was again by redirection that Johannson scored, at 3-3 it remained that way until regulation was over. The first overtime period resulted in no score from either team, in the playoffs that means that another period will be played rather than a shootout which is regular season format. The 2nd overtime and the 5th period played of the evening went much like the 1st overtime period with solid play and few chances. 12 mintues and 36 seconds into the period is when the game was decided, many people will say that the Rangers gave this win away by giving up cheap opportunities. To that school of thought, I would like to share this quote from Sean Carter: “When you play with skills, good luck will happen” That is exactly what happened on the game winning goal, Jason Chimera fired a shot from the right circle that was blocked by Ludnqvist who tried to cover it up and freeze the puck, Rangers forward Marian Gaborik was trying to help by clearing the puck, but he poked it from Lundqvist and cleared it straight to Chimera who put the puck in the back of the net!! The Caps won the game 4-3 and are now up 3-1 in the series, the Caps have the chance to end it at home this Saturday at the Verizon Center at 3 pm.
Josh, I hope you enjoyed it and I will not have any more hockey posts until the first round is completed!!