Bad Ice and Bad News: Rangers beat Caps 4-3

Bruce Bennett

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Game three of the quarterfinal series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers was an opportunity for a statement. The Capitals could have played just as they had last week and put NYR in a headlock. That didn’t happen. Instead, the Capitals got drawn into a quagmire on rocky ice– a penalty-punctuated, back-and-forth battle that they could not win despite dominating the even-strength game.

Rangers beat Capitals 4-3. Capitals still lead the series 2-1.


  • The Caps got off to a rollicking start, killing off Alex Ovechkin’s penalty for gregarious hockey-hugging and then scoring the game’s first goal when Nicky Backstrom deflected John Carlson‘s shot past Henrik Lundqvist. MSG went silent, but it did not last.
  • Joel Ward high-sticked Derick Brassardwait, seriously? Again? Ugh this was like the worst part of last year except for the entirety of Dale Hunter’s coaching decisions. Brian Boyle scored a gorgeous goal as the man-advantage expired– beating both Mike Green and Braden Holtby near-side.
  • And then came the too many men whistle, which was completely appropriate, but applied to the wrong team. (Pic by hockeyshopped)
    too many man
    So that’s a travesty right there. Some folks said that possession is necessary for an excessive manliness whistle, but these folks are incorrect. Any of those Rangers players more than five feet from the bench (n=7) could and should have been assessed for the call.
  • The penalties kept coming in the second period, as it took the Rangers just 7 seconds to convert Braden Holtby‘s trip of Nash into a lead.
  • The Madison Square Garden ice is not known for its pristinity (checked: actual word) in early May. While there was some fancy finesse play in each period’s opening minutes, the back half devolved into chippy junk. That was bad for the Capitals’ game, particularly since the Rags’ wrangled up a lot of power plays in the first half of the middle frame.
  • Mike Green filled in the one-goal hole late in the second with a really pretty wrister to the top shelf, where mama hides the double stuff Oreos. I’m just gonna keep on harping on the “healthy Mike Green is scary Mike Green” thing until the lamestream media (fake snark) picks up on it.
  • The Caps defense rolled out the red carpet to Aaron Asham, who caught a pass from below the goal line to re-establish the Rangers lead early in the third. Yucky D too much tonight.
  • Jack Hillen, whom we all love so hard, sent a flubbery wrister off the faceoff that ballooned past Lundqvist (after a Jay Beagle tip– I called it!) like so many Gummy Bears cartoons. Do you remember when cartoons were about a food product that was literally all sugar? Ahh, childhood.
  • John Carlson and the top line were not able to clear the zone during a sustained Rangers possession, giving Derek Stepan the opportunity to put the Rangers up a goal with six and a half minutes left. That lead stuck.
  • Alex Ovechkin drew a high stick with two minutes left in regulation. The resulting power play was a little too hesitant considering the state of the ice. Crash the net, y’all.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

That’s okay. A Caps-Rangers series isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. They’re supposed to be torrid, evenly matched, heart-rending affairs, and this was one of those.

If any lesson can be taken from this, it’s that Madison Square Garden ice sucks, and the Caps must simplify to succeed there. That means less passing and more shooting– hoping against hope to get the puck elevated and towards Lundqvist, who frankly enjoys an unfair advantage on home ice.

I’m not filled with negativity or disappointment after this one. It’s hard to be bitter when Eric Fehr played like such a stud. I don’t think bad whistles were the sole culprit, and I do think the Caps deserved most of those calls. If they play the same game over again with a bit more discipline, they’ll get the win.

The Caps will be coming back to Verizon Center this weekend. The only question is whether they’ll be bringing a win home with them. I think so.


  • Ward was pointless on the PP to end the game, he essentially stood in the way of an Ovechkin one timer if Ovechkin ended up getting one, Ward probably would of pivoted and the referees would of called a BS GI call if it went in.

  • JenniferH

    I’m disappointed, but I look at it this way: This was a MUST-WIN game for the Rangers, and yet the Caps kept it pretty damn close throughout most of the game. We’ll get em’ in 5!

  • OlietheGoalie

    Was a very close game. Caps had it in hand if it wasn’t for all the penalties. Oh well – we can win at home.

    Also Ranger fans are absolutely useless. They literally went from booing their team then cheering and applauding in 5 seconds. Pathetic.

  • Hopeless

    I sure as sh*t hope they bring back a W. Tonight was almost embarrassing. Ribs handling the puck an extra 13 seconds in the final minute was a bit much. And Fehr, mind putting that puck in the net next time you get a breakaway chance? Thanks!

  • That too many men pic was apparently from hfboards. I’ll try to track down credit for it.

  • Michael Reschly

    > after a Jay Beagle tip– I called it!

    Actually, I called it #thebank:

  • Interesting that you failed to mention what an acting job Ovechkin did on that “high stick”

  • Also, while not at home, Beagle score means this:


  • Rob

    After 6 penalties and Caps neutered, we stopped hitting and the Rangers hit more. I’m surprised it wasn’t way worse. Can you imagine an NHL where the Pens or Rangers are down 6-2 in PP’s and the whistles get put away ? Me neither…..nice they kept it close with a chance @ the end…but if that keeps up, it’ll go 7

  • uh, wasn’t the final score 4-3? it says 3-2.

  • You must be confused. Maybe if you refresh the page it’ll be cleared up for you. /wink /thanks

  • yes I needed this

  • RefUSuck


  • Michael Reschly


  • Yeah, Ward blew some good chances tonight– particularly late. And the high-sticking. My goodness.

  • Ash

    Well, we’re thoughtful people. We don’t want to take the Oscar nom away from Brassard and his mighty efforts; the dude tries very hard. Or, you know, the special effects team at MSG that somehow CGI-ed extra Caps players on the ice for TMM and managed to green-screen out all the extra Rangers at the same time.

  • Akay15

    You know the Caps are better when the best their creativity can muster is “Ovi Sucks.”

  • scott

    worst was ovi calling for a one timer and ribs and mg decided to play catch.

  • Disgruntled

    Refs are afraid of the wrath.

  • That bottom pic reminded me of last year’s Legal Seafood ad, with all the sea gulls flying around saying “no, no, no, yeah but no…..”

  • TSN showed a replay of it and it didn’t touch his head… Referee calling something he didn’t see.

  • Interesting that you failed to use your eyes when looking at that “high stick.” Embellished? Sure, but it was a penalty no matter what.

  • Moen in Glory

  • Uhh he was hit with a 2 hander on the chin. Stop crying.

  • 5bells

    Apparently it tends to be bad luck when I watch the game, good luck when I don’t. I’m sorry, everyone. Will try to sit it out next time. (Joking, but not really.)

  • Check out his chin in the postgame video.

  • What are you talking about? There was 9 rangers on the ice and Perreault stopped a 2 on 1.

  • Deleting this comment for misogynistic bullshit. Try again as a human and we’ll all have more fun.

  • You rule thanks

  • whoa weak

  • King Henrik deserved better than to be swept. He deserves a better team.

    We got this! 🙂

  • Took the words right outta my mind!

  • 5bells

    Hey, “Crosby sucks” happens to be a favorite of mine

  • Elaborate?

  • Ovi was cut by it.

  • yv

    Last figure just super funny!

    There is indisputable Caps rule, if they getting 3+ penalties in the first, it is a sign that Caps will usually lose. And it is practically impossible to win if all top guys missing the net. Defensemen cant do all jobs in D and, in addition, score all goals, even Nickys goal was redirection of Carlson shot.
    While very disappointed I said here that Caps in 5. They seems decided exactly that.

  • He was hit with a pretty decent high stick with less than a minute to go in the game and fell to his knees for a second. Damn straight he’s not taking a chance at the refs missing a call with a minute left

  • OlietheGoalie

    But he wasn’t spouting blood! It must have been an embellishment!

  • Oh was it one of those “he already had a cut there, so we’re not going to call it a double minor,” even though that cut is over a month old.

  • Just want to take a second and thank everyone at RMNB. I watched the game and I tend to get wrapped up in it, victory or not. After the Caps couldn’t convert on their last PP I was down. I eventually got up the gumption to come here and the positivity (sure, they lost, but they’re still up 2-1 and there’s another game in two nights) really helped me through. The series is far from over, and in fact the Caps are winning. So let the Rangers celebrate tonight. We’ll see how they do when they don’t get seven power plays. My money is on the Caps, both on Wednesday and in the series.

    Thanks RMNB, and GO CAPS!

  • vahockeymom

    We’ll let you know what happens, after the game.

  • maveric101

    I wouldn’t even say he embellished. He briefly went down on one knee, then popped right back up and kept skating towards the net.

  • Thanks, Matthew!

  • Not to mention that stupid #*(^$*% goal song…

  • 5bells

    Thank you 🙂