A turn around of less than three minutes very well may have changed the destiny of the Washington Capitals, as the New York Rangers head into game six tonight in Washington with more than a fair share of momentum off the strength of a Game 5 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Joel Ward's untimely high sticking major, a four minute penalty provided the opportunity for New York to battle back in a game they had actually been dominating but had found little success in.
With the clock ticking down to less than ten seconds, the Rangers scored a tying desperation goal in the third, setting up an overtime period in which they spent little time taking advantage of their man advantage and snatching a victory from the grasp of the Caps.
And while in some quarters the hero of round one is being painted as the goat of round two, Ward's penalty while certainly not helpful, should not be pointed to as the main thrust behind the Capitals loss.
The warning signs were there through periods two and three as the Rangers poured on the offence, taking advantage of Capital mistakes and wiring shot after shot at Braden Holtby.
It was the Caps goaltender that kept the Caps in the game as long as he did, the desperation swipe by Brad Richards that tied the game followed by the seeing eye shot from Marc Staal, by way of deflection from the stick of the Capitals Brooks Laich in OT, just the thing of hockey, where a break here and a break there will prove beneficial.
If one were looking for further clues as to the domination of the Rangers of game five, look no further than the shots of goal of captain Alex Ovechkin, a number which was zero, indicative of the close checking and double teaming that Ovechkin faced on Monday night.
Washington will need to shake off those disappointments of Monday, much like they did that triple overtime loss of May 2nd, something they clearly are able to do, rising yet again to the challenge, thought in this one elimination beckons.
The two OT losses are bitter pills no doubt for a hard working team such as the Capitals, unfair perhaps but with a team like the Rangers, when opportunity presents itself, they seem to find a way to barge through the door.
It's up to the Capitals to keep the gate shut tonight, if only for the chance to extend their season by one more game a decisive game seven back in New York.
Game Six-- New York 1 at Washington 2
The series is tied at 3 games each, Game 7 Saturday night 7:30 ET, 4:30 PT
Previews and Reviews
New York Post-- Rangers lose to Capitals face Game 7 on Saturday
New York Post-- Rangers know it won't be easy eliminating desperate Capitals
New York Post-- Capitals star Ovechkin scores, hits, blocks shots against Rangers
New York Post-- Rangers looking for Game 7 magic in Garden
New York Post-- Rangers-Devils could begin Saturday
NY Daily News-- NY Rangers fall to Washington Capitals in 2-1 in Game 6 ...
NY Daily News-- Capitals' Alex Ovechkin playing on a different level than NY Rangers ...
Washington Post-- Alex Ovechkin scores as Capitals force Game 7 against Rangers
Washington Post-- Caps continue to evolve with Game 6 victory over Rangers
Washington Post-- Rangers lament missed opportunities in loss to Capitals
Washington Post-- History gives Capitals fans reason to be optimistic about Game 7 ...
Washington Post-- Capitals' penalty kill steps up in Game 6
Washington Post-- Alex Ovechkin on his big game 6 ...
Washington Times-- Capitals defeat Rangers 2-1 to force Game 7
Washington Times-- Capitals' penalty kill smothers Rangers' attack
Washington Times-- A series destined to go the distance
Washington Times-- Capitals reflect Dale Hunter's poise behind bench
Washington Times-- Matt Hendricks stokes Capitals' fire in locker room, on ice
Washington Times-- Jason Chimera uses 'speed and a big desire to win'
Globe and Mail-- Dale Hunter has Capitals playing classic pre-lockout hockey
Globe and Mail-- Caps beat Rangers to force Game 7
National Post-- High wire Capitals stave off elimination again ...
National Post-- Who has the edge in the Rangers-Capitals series?
New York Post-- Rangers must Capital-ize on chance to end series
New York Post-- Rangers defenseman Staal praised by brother
New York Post-- Zuccarello skates with Ranges but won't play tonight
New York Post-- Capitals vow to "keep moving forward" despite painful loss
NY Daily News-- On the road to Stanley Cup playoffs with NY Rangers Artem Anisimov...
NY Daily News-- NY Rangers' John Tortorella will not ease up on Blueshirts ...
Washington Post-- Capitals look to stave off elimination against Rangers
Washington Post-- Rangers are not looking beyond tonight's game with Capitals
Washington Post-- We just can't go home right now
Washington Post-- Jay Beagle is "fine, he's gonna play"
Washington Post-- Ovehckin held without a shot for just second time in his playoff career
Washington Times-- Capitals don't have time to obsess over squandered opportunity in Game 5
Washington Times-- Brooks Laich's block attempt proved to be tipping point in overtime loss
Washington Times-- Capitals rookie Holtby plays with poise of a veteran
Washington Times-- Caps-Rangers series yet to cross from tough to dirty
Globe and Mail-- Controversial contracts paying off for Devils, Rangers
Globe and Mail-- Marc Staal's long road back to being a playoff hero
National Post-- Capitals no longer living life in the fast lane
National Post-- Rangers find life in dying seconds
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