Thursday, May 3, 2012

OT Thriller in Washington

I've been watching the Rangers/Capitals second round series with interest and I believe it has been the most exciting series of the second round. The first three games have been close affairs as goalies from both teams have been incredible. While the games have been close, this series has been extremely exciting to watch.

Henrik Lundqvist Signed Photograph - 8X10 JSA
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Last night's game three was a thriller as it went into three extra frames. That's right. It took triple OT to decide a winner. The game was just five minutes and 19 seconds away from a fourth OT period, when Rangers forward, Marion Gaborik scored on a backboards pass from teammate Brad Richards.

Many OT winning goals are sloppy ones, especially in multiple OT games but this goal was a beauty and capped a great night of hockey. It was a back and forth affair, with the goalies stealing the show. I was amazed at how players from both teams could find so much energy and make great plays both defensively and offensively.

New York Rangers goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, stopped 45 of the 46 shots directed at his net. He was absolutely brilliant in the extra periods, stopping shots that looked like they were sure bets to enter the goal behind him.

I believe the Rangers were the dominant team in OT. While the Capitals had their chances, especially a glorious scoring chance in the first OT frame for Alexander "Ovechloss" Ovechkin, who hit the post, it was the Rangers who controlled large parts of at least two of the overtimes.

Both Gaborik and Ovechkin had been disappointments in the playoffs, leading into this series. In fact, Washington capitals coach, Dale Hunter, had limited Ovechkin's ice time for the first two games of the series. That was until Alexander scored the game winning goal in game two.

Ovechkin had a chance to seal the victory and choked. Instead of looking like a star, he looked like a 5 year old playing street hockey. It was Gaborik's turn to act like a star and he did just that, scoring one of the biggest goals of his career.

I can't wait until game four. The only things that I've come to expect front this series is that I will see a close and exiting game and that the goaltending will be spectacular. Who has the edge? You would have to give it to the Rangers. Winning a game like that, gives you some energy but losing that type of game can be a series changer. While we might not see a thriller like game three, I'm sure there will be other great moments.

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