Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14

The Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with every one of the seven games being won by a single goal and four of them requiring overtime.  Why would you expect the conference semifinals to be any different?  The answer is that you wouldn’t, and — so far — these games haven’t been.

The New York Rangers won the first game in Madison Square Garden with seeming ease, handing Washington a 3-1 defeat in which it was clear that the Rangers were the better team.  They outskated and outworked the Caps, and — despite being outshot by the Caps 18-14 — managed to put three of those 14 in the net, putting a real hit in Braden Holtby’s previously stellar save percentage.  At the point, many Washington fans cringed at the thought of another potential second round fiasco — last year, you might recall, the Tampa Bay Lightning swept the Capitals in the second round and went on to meet the eventual Stanley Cup Champions in the conference finals.

The second game of the series was another story.  The Capitals hustled for the full sixty minutes and managed a 3-2 win over New York in Madison Square Garden.  It was truly a team effort, and Washington controlled the puck well, winning both the takeaway and the giveaway battles.  And so, the Capitals returned home to Verizon Center having stolen the Rangers home ice advantage.

Last night, it took nearly six full periods of hockey for the Rangers to take that advantage back.  In front of another capacity crowd of 18,506 in Washington, these two teams battled to a 1-1 score at the end of regulation, with each team scoring a single goal in the second period.  Not one, not two, but three extra periods were needed to decide this one — with Marian Gaborik knocking home the game winner at 14:41 of the third overtime to give the Rangers the victory.  By that time, it was clear that both teams were exhausted, with many forwards having skated in excess of 30 minutes and several blue liners approaching 50 minutes.  There were 95 shots on goal and more than 100 hits during the 114 minutes of play.  Neither team left anything on the ice, and the loser deserved to win as much as the winner.  It was one of those games that made you proud to be a hockey fan, regardless of which team you were cheering for.

So where does that leave the Capitals?  They are now down two games to one with another game to be played in DC before heading back to New York.  This is familiar territory, in that it’s exactly what happened in the quarterfinal series against the Bruins.  What happened in that series — and what needs to happen on Saturday — is for Washington to win and send the series back to New York tied at two games apiece.  Can that be done?  Of course it can!  The Capitals need to come out strong and take the fight to the Rangers from the first drop of the puck.  If they do that convincingly, when Saturday’s game is complete, we’ll be down to a three game series against the Rangers to see who will compete in the conference finals.

Let’s Go Caps!

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

Urban Meyer: 'No issue' with Braxton Miller's Instagram post

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.