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!

 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics over abuse allegations

15-year-old Marta Kostyuk makes history at Australian Open

Report: Cavs front office communicating less with players, coaches

Sports world reacts to meteor lighting up Michigan sky

Celtics legend Jo Jo White passes away at 71 after battle with cancer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rajon Rondo wonders why Isaiah Thomas deserves tribute from Celtics

Trevor Ariza reportedly viewed as Rockets' aggressor

Source: Lakers ‘frustrated’ Lonzo Ball won’t stand up to his father

Payton downplays taunting Vikings fans with ‘Skol’ clap

Harrison wants trade if Pirates are not committed to winning

Report: Steelers owner facing pressure to fire Mike Tomlin

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grading the deal: Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen to Giants

The NBA's deep middle class emerges

Is Mike Moustakas that much better than Travis Shaw?

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

The 'Home field disadvantage' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bruins, Flames, Jets are taking flight

Sabres look to be biggest sellers ahead of NHL trade deadline

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