If you were watching the New York Rangers
vs. the Washington Capitals
last night you may have missed the game of the year. Triple overtime, several shots off the post, missed opportunities and hits hits hits. It was a game of non-stop action from start to finish.
During the first period it was evident this game was going to be fast paced and hard hitting with many chances on both ends of the ice but you could tell it would also be a matter of who would blink first. During the playoffs anything is possible, games are elevated and 7th and 8th place teams can play like 1st place teams. Who will be the hero and who will make the grave mistake.
The New York Ranger fans are well known for their superstitions, during the 1994 Stanley Cup race they were constantly reminded of the curse of 1940 the last time that club had brought home a cup and this year is no different. The last time the Rangers had won a game in Triple overtime was back in 1971 against the Chicago Blackhawks
but this season has been about breaking superstitions breaking the mold of what the NHL knows as the New York Rangers. The season started off a bit shaky for the team making their debut overseas while Madison Square Garden finished it's renovation it's literally been all NYR's from then on. Never losing more than three games in a row all season this team has shown that they will be a constant thorn in the side for any team that dares take them on, they'll never quit and they'll never deviate from their game.
Last night the Rangers racked up a total of 47 shots on goal, the Caps 45 in just over 114 minutes of hockey, the Rangers took the lead on Captain Ryan Callahan's
goal at 6:41 of the second period with a spinorama shot between the legs of Caps rookie goalie Braden Holtby. The puck deflected off of two Caps players before it landed fortuitously in front of Cally for the shot in. The next goal of the game didn't come until 11:10 of the second period when John Carlson
beat Henrick Lundqvist
over the right shoulder. After that it seemed as if the play was up and down the ice and chances were plentiful for both teams. Henrick Lundqvist was the story of the evening making some enormous saves to keep his team in the game. The first jaw dropper came at at 12:59 after Marcus Johansson
got free on the right but Henrick was there to make the stop. 10 minutes into the first overtime the Caps fans thought the game was over when Alex Ovechkin
hit the post and the light had gone on signaling a goal however after review the puck never actually made it into the net. Ovechkin hit the far post close in from the left at 15:00 of the first overtime to keep the game at 1-1. Hitting the post seemed a theme last night as both teams had hit it numerous times on the rush. Brian Boyle
even blocked what seemed to be a slam dunk by fellow teammate Mike Rupp
for the game winner while fighting in front of the net for position. It was a night of what seemed like endless missed opportunities and edge of your seat jitters as to who would make the first mistake. Both teams combined for 105 hits and 81 blocked shots, Ryan McDonagh
led the Rangers defense with 53:17 of ice time and right behind him was Marc Staal
with 49:34 both tasked with keeping Ovechkin at bay.
It wasn't until the third overtime period that Marion Gaborick
scored off of a pretty feed from behind the net from Brad Richards
that went past Holtby onto Gabby's stick and between the goaltenders legs. That goal ended Gabby's eight game goal-less streak and the longest game since 2008. If there were any doubts about this teams commitment to the game about their passion for the game and their talent for the game that has since been crushed. They are a team to be reckoned with and they aren't going to go down that easy.