Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
The Washington Capitals returned home with hopes of gaining a series lead over the New York Rangers. Fans got involved with some rousing “O! V!” cheers, the Caps got their offense moving, and the ice was as soupy as you’d expect in the D.C. spring. But this game was unlike any others. It was a thing of History. Capitals history. And you can probably guess from that alone how it turned out.
After a scoreless first, Ryan Callahan converted a power play by tapping in a puck served up for him after bouncing off of Matt Hendricks. John Carlson tied it up with a dangle-icious wrister that went top shelf.
The third period was tense, but offered no resolution to the game. And so we went to overtime.
Alex Ovechkin rang the post on a huge breakaway– leading to some goal lights and a bit of premature celebration, but it was waved off. And thus we needed double secret overtime.
Brian Boyle blocked Mike Rupp’s sure-thing game-winner, and thus we needed triple overtime.
In trip OT, Jeff Schultz made the block of his life using his pants. Yeah, his pants. That’s how weird stuff got.
But then Marian Gaborik coordinated with Brad Richards to finally end it with some behind-the-goal-line action.
Rangers beat Caps 2-1 (3OT).
Series record: Capitals 1, Rangers 2
Well you just witnessed history, and once again the Capitals were on the losing side of it.
This game was punishing in a way we haven’t seen in a generation. As a fan, I feel like I have the flu. I can’t imagine the suffering the players are experiencing right now.
It’s dumbfounding– simply astonishing– how many near-goals there were. How many miracle saves, how many posts rung, how many sacrificial blocks. Players on both teams deserve our admiration and respect after this effort. All of the enmity we like to dump out on the other guy just doesn’t seem right now. This loss stings worst than any before, but it’s different because of the marathon that preceded it.
The game began at 7:40 pm on May 2nd. It ended at 12:16 am on May 3rd. It was the third longest game in franchise history. It was a cataclysmic heartbreaker.
Dennis Wideman clocked over 40 minutes on the ice. Dan Girardi was damn near 45 minutes. That’s herculean. Stu Bickel… three and a half minutes.
And Ryan McDonagh played 53 minutes and 17 seconds. Stand up and clap for that.
Hey. Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist played world-class hockey. If you’re a Caps fan, you’re allowed to hate Henrik, but you’ve gotta respect him. And Holtby might given up the 3OTGWG, but he stopped 47 pucks over a couple hours of hockey. Not a quantum of blame involved.
Wow. Just wow. It’s like Steve Jobs’ death rattle right now.
Okay, we’re in a bit of a hole now, but Game Four holds a lot of opportunity. It’s a nooner, so we’ll have to figure out some way to get pep in our step. In the meantime, let’s all get some rest.
Don’t despair. This thing ain’t over, it’s just late.
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