May 3, 2012, 12:22 AM EDT
Marian Gaborik can probably breath a little easier now.
The winger won’t hear (as much?) about his $7.5 million annual cap hit for at least a few nights as he ended far-and-away the longest game of the 2012 playoffs so far. He finished a one-timer attempt to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 triple OT win and a 2-1 series lead to boot. Let’s ponder a few things, then.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
- The obvious but crucial question: is this a back-breaker for the Capitals? The franchise has lot plenty of lengthy overtimes in its history, but this isn’t a common thing in the Alex Ovechkin era. Do you think this was a knockout punch or a learning experience for Washington?
- Which Caps player will lose the most sleep? Ovechkin had a shot off the post that fooled the red light operator and Verizon Center. Plenty of players had their fair share of near-goals. My vote? Troy Brouwer missed a couple absolutely golden chances in the first OT; you can watch one of the missed ones here.
- From a fatigue standpoint, which team might bounce back stronger in Game 4? Both teams have plenty of younger players. One factor to consider is that the Rangers’ defense got banged up. Dan Girardi traveled to the locker room to get stitched up, Ryan McDonagh took a thunderous hit from Matt Hendricks and so on.
- Both goalies were great. While Henrik Lundqvist must be pleased, Braden Holtby had no chance on that game-winner and certainly didn’t seem like a rookie in the OT marathon. Can he shake off this loss, though?
- Is there any fear that the Rangers will treat their trip to the “phone booth” as a success already? Another lengthy series could put a dent in their long-term hopes.
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