“All Series Baby!” It’s going to Game 7! (NYR 4 vs WSH 3)
It’s never easy with the New York Rangers, but all that matters in the end is the “W”! Last night, the Rangers were powered by Chris Kreider and saved time after time by the brilliant goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist.
The Capitals came out like a house of fire and were led by their grinders who all had a great game. Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera really pressured the Rangers on the opening shift, dominating play in the offensive zone. That’s until Kreider powered his way from the neutral zone all the way to the net to beat Braden Holtby and give his team that important first goal.
[su_quote cite=”Blueshirts United” url=”http://www.blueshirtsunited.com/article/alive-rangers-force-game-seven-4-3-victory”]”It’s always nice to be able to get one on the first shift, get one early,” explained Kreider, who has four goals in the series and five in the post-season. “I think that was important that we had a good start.”[/su_quote]
Kreider would strike again in the last minute as well, this time on the PP. With just .03 ticks of the clock, Kreider powered his way to the front and found a loose puck Holtby did not control and slammed it home. The Rangers were on their way to a blowout.
The Caps opened the second period and basically mirror-imaged Kreider’s late tally. Jason Chimera cut the lead in half just seconds in and you can hear the Rangers Victory song skip like a scratched record. Lundqvist was under siege for the entire second, yet stood tall and preserved the 2-1 lead.
Then the wild third period no one expected began. First it was Rick Nash using his size to power in front and then his skill to finally score in this series :58 seconds in. That was followed by a Dan Boyle blast as he sneaked in from the point. A 4-1 lead, play that Victory Song again.
In less then 3 minutes the Caps closed the lead to 4-3 on goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Joel Ward. Call your Cardiologist and make your appointment for Monday morning because these Rangers just don’t give your heart a rest.
Derek Stepan called it their “worst game of the series” and he may be right from a possession standpoint as the Capitals tilted the ice towards Lundqvist the rest of the way. The King would finish the game with 45 saves, in contrast Holtby had 28.
Lundqvist would face a blitz that would probably break a normal goaltender. A blown call on James Sheppard gave the Caps a PP late in the third that nearly did him in. The replay clearly showed that Sheppard’s clear hit the glass before going out, but a linesman declared that it went straight out.
The Rangers however continued their impressive penalty killing and secured the win. After the game was over, Henrik Lundqvist was visibly and emotionally exhausted.
[su_quote cite=”NY POST” url=”http://nypost.com/2015/05/11/an-incredible-game-6-and-one-king-refusing-to-give-in/”]“I was tired going into the third period already, so I tried to feel the energy,” said the King, who faced a barrage over the final 40 minutes that were played almost entirely in the New York zone. “With five minutes left, I was not ready for the season to be over, so I was trying to find reasons to stay confident. “It was by far the toughest game of the playoffs for me to play.”[/su_quote]
Alain Vigneault was obviously very pleased with his charges and talked about game 7 in his usual calm fashion. “We gave ourselves a chance.” Yes, a chance to make history.
No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in consecutive playoff years. In 2003 the Minnesota Wild did so twice in the same season, but this would be pretty darn special too.
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