Gorgeous pic by Greg Fiume
Hockey hypertension. The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers played a high-tension matinee game that had everyone watching in conniption fits. Superb performances by goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby kept the game scoreless through regulation despite some dazzling chances at both ends. I’m trying to think of a non-cliched way to say we were on the edge of our seats, but I’m way too wrapped up in this to be clever right now.
Braden Holtby refused all offers, and the Capitals dominated overtime until Mike Green ended it on the power play.
Caps beat Rangers 1-0 (Overtime). Caps lead the series 2-0.
- John Erskine did not play his best game. While he contributed a few muffins and cannons from the blue line, he looked overwhelmed in his own zone, particularly when playing below the goal line. Braden Holtby bailed him out at every turn, but Ersk could use a bit more confidence and deliberation with and without the puck.
- The Caps have a localized epidemic of Swedish Passing Disease. Nick Backstrom and especially Marcus Johansson had some prime chances to score squandered due to reticence to shoot. I think the feeling is that Henrik Lundqvist cannot be bested without some brilliant passing sequence, but he’s just mortal and will stop somewhere around 92% of shots over time. Gimme volume over quality, though crashing the net never hurts.
- John Carlson was everywhere, driving play more than any other player and leading the team in shot on net.
- Rick Nash had a semi-breakaway in the third period that went off the goalpost. We really owe that goalpost a thank you card. Someone get on that.
- Eric Fehr is good everyday, but today he was extra special good. His penalty killing in overtime nearly led to a SHOTGWG, and he immediately followed it up with a diving block. Unreal play by the Caps’ unsung hero.
- Mike Green, my baby. We’ve never seen Green play healthy in the playoffs until now. It’s a marvelous sight.
- Braden Holtby made 24 saves in his shutout, and he needed every one.
Holy shit, guys. We made it through this one. That was as tense as anything I’ve ever seen. I had to take off my shirt during OT because I didn’t know how to cope. I still don’t. These may not be sentences I’m writing right now– and my hands are shaking so bad my TYPOS REL/60 is probably off the charts.
The Caps really came through in this one. They owned the puck, played physically, and got their power play converting when it matters most. It wasn’t the team effort we saw on Thursday– this was a hero thing. The oft-maligned Mike Green had a very big day, and Braden Holtby did what we’ve come to expect from him– nigh perfection.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m houseruling Braden Holtby perfect through two games. That game-one goal against was a fluke. He’s been ideal– something of a postseason habit for Holtby.
The Caps now head to Manhattan to curbstomp the Rangers. I think they can do it. Every chump who picked Rangers in 4 or 5 is looking a bit silly right now. If the Caps stick to their game, they’re going deep.
Good game guys!
The camera zooming in on Pierre is how most nightmares start
— RMNB (@russianmachine) May 4, 2013