Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/3/12

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

Bellator MMA fighter dies days after hit-and-run incident

Report: Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract, retire a Giant

Cowboys ‘prepared’ for Jaylon Smith to miss entire 2016 season

Report: Texas wants schools to vote against Big 12 expansion

Report: More MLB PED suspensions are imminent

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade on his knee: ‘I am sure it’s bruised’

Eagles VP says he hasn’t reached out to Sam Bradford

Matt Harvey blames his early-season struggles on mechanics

Bruce Arians: Coaching Cardinals ‘will be my last job’

Carmelo talks next Knicks coach, wants say in decision

Warriors GM: Not even Stephen Curry knows when he'll return

The 10 biggest remaining questions of the NFL offseason

Is Rob Gronkowski dating SI swimsuit model Hailey Clauson?

A Buckeye’s dozen: Ohio State dominated the 2016 NFL Draft

The top 20 pound-for-pound boxers in 2016

Five reasons playoff hockey is better than playoff basketball

Russell Wilson wants SuperSonics back in Seattle

Derek Jeter: Red Sox fans 'have softened up' since winning it all

Ryan Reaves pummels Curtis McKenzie, blows Stars a kiss

Ryan Leaf on Johnny Manziel: ‘It’s like holding up a mirror sometimes’

Byron Scott admits to giving ‘entitled’ D’Angelo Russell tough love

WATCH: Diego Simeone shoves team official on sideline

Report: Syracuse and UConn to renew rivalry with game at MSG

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

QUIZ: Name every Triple A Minor League Baseball team

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker