Capitals Eliminated by Rangers in Overtime

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The Washington Capitals have been eliminated by the New York Rangers.

There was a moment around lunchtime when I had actually convinced myself game seven between the Capitals and Rangers might not be a low-scoring, one-goal game decided in overtime. Maybe you thought the same. If so, you’re a dummy too. This was always going to be tight. It was always going to be a goalie duel. This was always going to be excruciating. The only thing we didn’t know was that this was the end.

Alex Ovechkin scored in the first period, fighting to win a faceoff then driving to the net as Marcus Johansson dealt him the puck. A glut of penalties sucked up the second period, capped off by Kevin Hayes’ goal to knot the game heading into the third period. The Rangers pushed late, but some great work by the Caps forward depth and Braden Holtby held on for overtime, which is when Josh Groban said

and he was right. The Capitals were frenzied in OT, but a spat of icings gave the Rangers a chance to strike and strike they did. Derek Stepan ended it.

Rangers beat Caps 2-1 in overtime. That’s the end of the season.

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Rangers beat Caps 4-3, Force Game Seven

Hello, darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to play game seven again.

The Washington Capitals were designed by the Enemy to make your life unbearable. They get dominated by the Rangers, the fall in a three-goal hole, they mount a comeback, they almost do it but fall late.

Chris Krieder scored the first and second goals of the game in the first and last minute of the first period. Jason Chimera cleaned up a rebound to get the Caps in it in the second, but Rick Nash and Dan Boyle scored early in the third to put us in blowout territory, but hold on.

Joel Ward forced a turnover and Evgeny Kuznetsov sunk it to restore some vitality to Verizon Center, then Ward did it solo– crashing the net to make it a one-goal game. A huge push late yielded nothing except stress.

Caps lose. To game seven, good ol’ gay sev, we go once more.

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Not yet. Caps in six.

The New York Rangers have forced game six with some late-game drama. Caps in six.

No one scored in the first. No one scored in the second. No one scored until nine minutes left in the third, when Matt Niskanen set Curtis freaking Glencross loose in the offensive zone to score all alone. With 101 seconds left in #rego, goalie-hurter Chris Kreider converted on the rush to force overtime. Your playoff hero wore blue. It was Ryan McDonagh.

Rangers beat Caps 2-1 in overtime. The Caps lead the series 3-2. Caps in six.

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Hoo boy, the Washington Capitals are not making this easy. The New York Rangers pretty much owned the zone, but the Caps had a secret weapon, codename: Burracuda.

The Rangers were on attack for the game’s first half pretty much always, but Braden Holtby had them solved– at least until Derick Brassard beat Alex Ovechkin on the rush to score New York’s first goal since the late 80s. It looked grim for the home team, but then Andre Burakovsky did unbelievable things. He scored late in the second and early in the third, breaking out on the national scene in a way the league hasn’t seen since Evgeny Kuznetsov did the exact same thing last round.

Didn’t even have to use Ovi.

Caps beat Rangers 2-1. The Caps lead the series 3-1. Is this real life?

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Here’s the deal: we’re gonna talk about this game, but we’re not going to talk about the part that matters until the very end. Got it? Good.

The Capitals beat the Rangers. It was a tight one. Very tight. You know how it is.

The first period came and went without a goal, but we got a nifty Jay Beagle goal in the second to make up for it. The Rangers attacked Klendathu in the third period, but the Capitals goalie had the answer for everything, and so….

Caps beat Rangers 1-0!

Caps lead the series 2-1!

BRADEN HOLTBY SHUTOUT!!!

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Sunk by a Slow Start: Rangers beat Caps 3-2

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Photo: Chris Gordon

The thing about hockey games, or at least one of the things about hockey games, is that they are at least sixty minutes long. If your team only plays well for– let’s say– the back forty of that hour, you’re gonna have a bad time. The Washington Capitals had a bad time on Saturday.

Chris Kreider scored in the game’s first minute, exploiting some uninvolved Capitals defense. Dan Boyle’s power-play marker made it 2-0 before the first intermission, and things looked grim.

Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his stupid-good postseason with a nifty rebound goal in the second period.

The Caps failed to convert their first power play in the third, and then Derick Brassard made it 3-1. Alex Ovechkin narrowed the gap by taking on two Rangers and scoring from his knees. The Caps made a lot of noise in the final 90 ticks, but couldn’t score.

Rangers beat Caps 3-2. The series is tied 1-1.

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Late-Game Heroics: Caps beat Rangers 2-1!

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I have so many jokes about this picture, but Ian won’t let me make any.

The rested Rangers came out flying in the first period of the first game of the second round, but it was weary Washington who scored first. A pitched battle followed– with plenty of end-to-end action and shoulda-been-coulda-been goals. A late goal by the Rangers made it a contest, and just as we prepared for overtime, something happened.

On a power play late in the first, Alex Ovechkin gained the zone and carved a Christmas ham with a sneaky shot. With five minutes left, the Rangers tied it up after a looooong offensive-zone session. No big deal– Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward combined for the clutchest of clutch moves you’ve ever seen.

Caps beat Rangers 2-1. Caps lead the series 1-0. Hahahahahaha

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Caps beat Islanders 2-1: Halak No More!

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The hero of game seven. Or, one of them.

Game seven. Gay sev. The most Caps of Caps hockey. Will they lose in a teeth-gnasher or will they lose in a blowout?

THEY WILL DO NEITHER, GOOD SIR. THEY WILL DO NEITHER.

We were nearly forty minutes into a scoreless (and penalty-free) game when Brooks Orpik took a slapper from the blue line. Jaroslav Halak had the shot covered, but Joel Ward was all up on him. A couple vicious taps to a sensitive region and a slow trickle followed: 1-0 Capitals.

The Isles owned the puck early in the third. Frans Nielsen entered the zone and cut to the middle, putting a sneaky shot on Braden Holtby that went five-hole. Tie game with 17 minutes left.

Ten minutes later, Evgeny Kuznetsov was jokes. He moved laterally across the crease, undressing Halak and splaying him on his side. From no angle, Kuzy hit the back of the net.

The Washington Capitals have defeated the New York Islanders.

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Coffee’s for Closers: Islanders beat Caps 3-1

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The Caps did not close out the series on the road, but you knew that already.

For the millionth time, the Islanders got onto the scoreboard first. Brooks Orpik lost the play after going for a hit, so John Carlson was overwhelmed in covering John Tavares and company: 1-0 Isles. Late in the period, that same Carlson gave the Caps power play a shot in the arm with a big goal. The second period was wild but scoreless.

Wild Butt Scoreless is the name of my Poison cover band.

Midway through the third period, everything happened in a single play. A rumble along the bench went unwhistled, so Ovechkin creamed Tavares into the glass, and then somehow Kulemin was all alone to beat Braden Holtby. Beagle hit the crossbar, and then Clutterbuck got the empty netter.

Islanders beat Caps 3-1. The series is tied 3-3. Gay sev on Monday.

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Bailamos! Caps beat Isles 5-1!

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Tonight we dance.

Also tonight, we witnessed the emergence of Evgeny Kuznetsov as a Caps playoff legend. Scoring two in a thrilling home-ice win over the Islanders, Kuznetsov is all you’ll talk about on Friday. If someone tries to talk about something else, then you’re done talking to that person.

The Caps surrendered the game’s first goal to Josh Bailey, but don’t worry– the rest of this recap is gonna be a blast.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, the goddamn hero, batted a puck out of mid-air to tie the game, and then Karl Alzner (no seriously) stormed the net to give the Caps the lead after forty. The Caps blew a power play early in the third, but Brooks Laich grabbed a loose puck soon after to make it 3-1.

The flood gates.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second of the night on a breakaway, and then Jason Chimera got a dribbler into the Isles net. And with that, at long last, the Capitals had chased Jaroslav Halak from the net in a playoff game.

Caps beat Islanders 5-1. Caps lead the series 3-2.

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