Apr 13, 2011, 11:16 PM EDT
Whether it’s their carefree attitudes, perceived lack of production* or the simple sports writing formula of “Team doesn’t win = player is a choker,” there are many hockey people who revel in the “failures” of Semin and Ovechkin. Those people probably weren’t very happy with the results of Game 1, as Ovechkin tied the game up in the third period while Semin scored the overtime game-winner and assisted on Ovechkin’s tally as well.
Washington 2, NY Rangers 1 (OT); Capitals lead 1-0
This was the tight-checking, rugged defensive game that some assumed would be too much for Washington. Anyone who’s been following this team during the 2010-11 season (rather than leaning on outdated opinions) would know that they’ve grown quite a bit in that area, something they showed by grinding out a tough win against a resilient team.
The first two periods went without a goal as Henrik Lundqvist and Michal Neuvirth kept both teams off the board. Matt Gilroy finally gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead about two minutes into the third period, followed by that video-reviewed Ovechkin goal at the 13:44 mark. The game then went into overtime, putting greater pressure on the Capitals.
It looked like that pressure would increase that much more as the two teams slugged it out deep into the first (and only) overtime period, but Semin scored a resounding goal with about a minute and a half left to win it for Washington. Marc Staal is a great defensive defenseman, but he coughed up the puck to Jason Arnott, who made a nice play to keep the puck in the Rangers’ zone before setting up Semin’s winner.
Lundqvist made 33 saves in the game, often frustrating the Capitals shooters with his world-class netminding, but it wasn’t enough. Neuvirth had a comparatively easy night, passing his first test as Washington’s No. 1 goalie by stopping 24 out of 25 shots.
Obviously, it’s erroneous to judge an entire two month playoff schedule by one night of action, but Wednesday’s game does force the question: is it time to take Semin and Ovechkin seriously? If they keep it up, their detractors will have to eat some playoff crow.
* Semin has 26 points in 29 career playoff games, while Ovechkin has a whopping 41 in 29. They might not have blemish-free games, but calling them chokers seems downright silly.
May 24, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT
The postgame comment that just won’t go away.
May 24, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT
The Red Wings’ star may go back to Russia after next season.
May 24, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT
Back in Vegas next year.
May 24, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT
Rare criticism for the Blackhawks’ captain.
May 24, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT
SKA Saint Petersburg would be the club.
May 24, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT
“(He’s) a hell of a hockey player.”
May 24, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT
He’s excited about the Avalanche’s future, but he also has other considerations.
May 24, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT
The match will start at 7:30 p.m. ET.
May 24, 2013, 7:16 AM EDT
Friday’s collection of links.
May 24, 2013, 3:04 AM EDT
Typically, this is called.
May 24, 2013, 2:46 AM EDT
On the brink of elimination.
May 24, 2013, 2:28 AM EDT
Remember when he took the blame for first two losses against St. Louis?
May 24, 2013, 2:01 AM EDT
Second goal in 27 games.
May 24, 2013, 1:24 AM EDT
Home team has won every game in this series.
May 24, 2013, 12:28 AM EDT
“Something’s got to give,” Jonathan Toews said.
May 24, 2013, 12:25 AM EDT
Officially sidelined since Feb. 14 due to what GM Mike Gillis cited as safety concerns.
May 23, 2013, 11:44 PM EDT
Something you don’t see every game.
May 23, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT
‘We’ve had streaks before,” he said.
May 23, 2013, 11:10 PM EDT
Three straight penalties, still zero goals in the playoffs.
May 23, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT
Detroit wins again.
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- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 7
- Discuss: Kings dominate Game 5, one win away from Western Conference final 20
- Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead 56
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win 80
- What they’re saying about the Avs hiring Patrick Roy 6
- It’s official: Colorado names Roy sixth head coach in franchise history 52
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 38
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 26
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 35
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (113)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Live Extra: Watch coverage of Carb Day at Indy
- PHT: Senators fight for playoff lives in Game 5
- Struggling Blackhawks on brink of elimination
- PHT: Wings push Blackhawks to brink | Highlights
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PHT: Kings defend home ice, up 3-2 | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional