Matt Hendricks: Unsung Hero of Game Five


While Mike Ribeiro got all of the accolades after scoring the OTGWG to give the Caps a 3-2 series lead Friday night, a few other Capitals gave valiant performances as well. One of those players was checking-line forward Matt Hendricks, who, in just 9:42 of ice time, blocked seven New York Rangers shots, a game high. He also had four hits.

Last year, after the Caps beat the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs, I spoke to Hendricks about his role as a wagon, a guy who sacrifices his body and does all of the little things to win.

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Photo credit: Greg Fiume

After Mike Green rifled a shot past Henrik Lundqvist in the third period, the Capitals had to hold a one-goal lead for almost six minutes to win Game Four. With that in mind, Dale Hunter sent out the Wagons. Washington held the Rangers to only two shots on goal during that stretch — six blocked — and would hold on to win 3-2 and tie the series at 2.

“The Wagons got the job done with the blocked shots at the end,” Mike Green told reporters after the game. “Great team effort.”

So who are these Wagons that Green’s referring to, and what does that even mean? Glad you asked.

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