New York Rangers use overtime to take control of series

By Matthew Kirkpatrick

The New York Rangers were just seven seconds from falling behind in their series against the Washington Capitals, but goals by Brad Richards to tie the game, and then Marc Staal sent the MSG crowd home happy after just 1:35 of extra time.

With the win the Rangers move to within one game of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997.

The Capitals were at their shot blocking, and opportunistic best for the majority of the game, but it was a block gone wrong that led to Staal’s winning goal.

Washington center Brooks Laich attempted to get in front of Staal’s point shot, but instead redirected the puck past an unsuspecting Braden Holtby.

I’m not sure Holtby would have would have stopped the puck even if Laich had not changed it’s trajectory, he was thoroughly screened by at least three bodies in front of his net.

New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist was not his spectacular self only making 16 saves in the game, but he was good enough to snatch the victory away from Holtby.

Washington looked like they had the Blueshirts beaten based on the strength of goals by Laich and John Carlson, but when Capitals round one hero Joel Ward took a four minute high sticking penalty with 22 seconds left in the third period he gave the Rangers life.

The Rangers will now travel to Washington to try and close out the series, and punch their ticket to the conference finals. It will not be an easy task against the plucky Capitals who will throw everything they have at New York as the try to push the series to game seven.

If the New York Rangers can weather the initial storm, and Lundqvist can keep his mates in the game it would come as no surprise to anyone if Rangers were able to get the drop on the Caps, and avoid another heart stopping seventh game.

Game six will go Wednesday night in Washington.




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