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Ryan Callahan says the Caps “were more desperate” in Game 2

May 1, 2012, 8:43 AM EDT

Braden Holtby, Karl Alzner, Ryan Callahan AP

The intensity the Washington Capitals brought in their Game 2 victory helped show the New York Rangers that this playoff series wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. After getting outworked in Game 1, the Capitals tapped back into what helped them get past the Boston Bruins in the first round.’s Chuck Gormley hears it from Rangers captain Ryan Callahan they expected a big push back from the Caps and handled it poorly.

“They were more desperate than they were [in Game1],” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said after the Capitals evened their bet-of-seen series with a 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden. “I thought they competed a lot harder; we expected that. We knew they were going to come out hard.”

Desperation like Washington showed in Game 2 helped make sure they could go back home all even.

Outside of Alex Ovechkin‘s game-winner, the goals weren’t pretty to see. They were dirty, grimy, blue-collar style goals that saw the Capitals force play on the Rangers and make them uncomfortable. Doing all that while Braden Holtby (and the iron behind him) kept New York out is just how Dale Hunter wants to see things. Keeping that desperation level up the rest of the way will be the trick the Caps need to pull off if they want to get to the Eastern Conference finals.

  1. ajl7519 - May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Not sure what game you were watching, but how was Knuble’s goal blue collar? That was as pretty as a passing play as you will see. Perfect 3 on 2 breakout and goal.

    • davidpcoelho - May 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      2 shots were pretty out of 3 so not sure how you can classify the Caps shots as ugly. The third shot was ugly goal-tending and defense on the Rangers part more then ugly shooting by the Caps.

  2. oconnor007 - May 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I still think NYR are the better team in this series, but the Caps have played pretty well in the first two games.

    If anything, this will be an entertaining series.

    • jpelle82 - May 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      the first game was bad for washington. dont know what you were watching but game one wasnt pretty…at all. the scoreboard is misleading in 3-1, the rangers can outplay you for 60 mins and still only beat you by 1. theyve done it to just about every team in the league all year long. i think they are more comfortable with a one goal lead than any team out there (cept maybe nashville). game 2 however was a good push back and the caps had a lot more energy for sure…a couple bounces/posts go the other way and this is another ny win though. i dont think the caps dominated in any facet by any means, they shouldnt get too comfortable going home.

      • wethog66 - May 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        The Caps just played a 7 game series against Boston where all 7 games were decided by 1 goal, and 3 went to OT.

        The Rags the most comfortable in 1 goal games? No.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - May 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    That last power play goal shouldn’t have even happened. More of the refs and Bettman taking care of their poster children/face of the league. Blue Shirts should be up 2-0.

    • wethog66 - May 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      The Ref’s should of never called Green for tripping when its clear that Green’s stick was flat on the ice and Krieder simply stepped on it. The Ref’s should of never called a penalty on Semin when he barely slashed Callahan in the leg, but Callahan made it seem like a sniper Fing shot him. Carlson should of never gotten a roughing penalty that made it a 4 on 4 last game that led to one of the Rags goal.

      See how that works? Both teams have had calls go against them. Harden up, Slick.

    • ithacamike - May 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Yeah, because obviously Bettman doesn’t want the NY market anywhere near the Conference Finals. Child please.

  4. steviep23 - May 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I love the fact the caps scored after the crowd did that stupid countdown to the 8 minute mark. MSG got reeeeealll quiet.

  5. dowhatifeellike - May 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    The passing in the offensive zone didn’t look like desperation to me. It was sharp.

  6. caps247 - May 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Yeah, I agree, that Aucoin-Ward-Knuble goal was arguably the prettiest (and cleanest) goal of the playoffs. Their passing on the 3 on 2 rush was sharp as it could be, they made it look like it was a regular season game with no pressure.
    As for the second goal, I got hit with deja Vu — did anyone realize that Chimera pulled the exact same trick on Lundquvist in the 2011 playoffs? (that meaning stealing while the goalie was behind the net and tapping it through the empty net)
    And for Ovechkin’s goal, I honestly it bounced off a Ranger defender’s stick, but that’s just me. Ovechkin did a nice job silencing the critics and MSG itself by proving he could make the most out of 13:36 of TOI.

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