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Discuss: Gaborik beats Capitals in triple OT, gives Rangers 2-1 series lead

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.

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  • 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.
  1. highpowered350 - May 3, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Anybody else’s hands shaking or should i go see a doctor.

    GO RANGERS !!!!!!!!!!!

    • hockeyfan763 - May 3, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      Brian Boyle’s ass save on Mike Rupp’s open net chance almost gave me a coronary. Way to stay with Rangers, nice win !!

  2. brian32556 - May 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I’ve been saying all along – do not give up on Gaborik! He was flying in OT!

  3. epictron1 - May 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    What a game for all hockey fans!

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 3, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Awesome game. That’s what playoff hockey’s all about.

  5. villi5ed - May 3, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Amazing game. I thought the NYR looked fresher and had better legs as the OTs went on, and generated more
    offensive pressure. But it could have easily gone the other way. The Caps are impressive, and this series is far
    from over. I think the Rangers have taken a measure of control, but it is not over.

  6. Stiller43 - May 3, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Woo! Heres to a rangers-devils eastern finals.

  7. mendenhallfumblemachine - May 3, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    The time on ice numbers for this game were absolutely ridiculous… 53! Minutes for mcdonagh, and do you think Jay Beagle will ever see 35 minutes again in his life? Goalies were fantastic anyway, Hank’s a stud, Holtby ain’t too shabby either.

  8. brian32556 - May 3, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    The Rangers have a young, tough team! They’ll be ready for Saturday. Holtby has nothing to be ashamed up – he should take strength from his performance. Its only game 3; if they Rangers had 3 wins I would worry about the Caps. Not at 2-1. LET’S GO RANGERS!

  9. stakex - May 3, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Who the hell ever said a low scoring game can’t be exciting. That was by far the best game of the playoffs so far.

    Also, while I’m really happy the Rangers won, the Caps don’t have anything to be ashamed of. That was a great game by both teams, and something simply had to break.

  10. cruuuzcontrol - May 3, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Hat tip to Holtby. This was a goaltending duel to the extreme. Rangers just looked like they were on another level in the third overtime… Before Gabby scored the ice was firmly tilted in their favor. And Hank is playing at his standard level of excellence to keep them right in it, waiting for someone to break through. Fantastic. Rest up, boys!

    • rfoster75 - May 3, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      a great game…You can’t squander opportunities against good teams in any sport. Caps have to be kicking themselves this morning. Ovie and Brouwer and brooks laich let it slip through their fingers (I’ll give Ovie a pass because he hit the inside of the post). They will get game 4 if they come out the same way.

  11. cspsrbums - May 3, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Steller Don’t count your Chickens before they hatch that’s what Boston fan on here did look where their at. This is goin the same way that series did.

    • stakex - May 3, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      I would agree no one can read much from this. Aside from the fact the Rangers seemed to have a bit more gas as the over times drug on, both teams played very even all night long and this game could have gone either way.

      The only real question mark is how big of metal blow will this be to the Caps. If they take it hard, the series is over. However I don’t personally expect that to be the case. I think they will shrug it off and game 4 will be every big the dog fight this game was.

  12. riles1008 - May 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I think this game was a death sentence for the caps. Not a fan of either team but rangers in 5 or 6

    • bloggersarenotjournalists - May 3, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      Yup, Caps rarely have shown heart, this loss could finish em. They are going to need Holtby to shake this off and keep them in it next game.

      • wethog66 - May 3, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        The Caps showed a lot of heart last series battling the defending Cup champs and winning a 7 game series where every game was decided by 1 goal. And what does Holtby have to shake off?

      • bloggersarenotjournalists - May 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Rarely doesnt mean never. Are you saying because they showed it once they are now chock full?
        And I think Holtby is going to have shake off the heartbreaker that happened last night and be ready for a flat team in front of him next game and carryhis club.

  13. hulkhogan69 - May 3, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Amazing game one of the best games I’ve seen in my 25 years of watching Hockey. Marian Gaborik had a quiet regulation but was probably the best player on the ice in the overtime. He made an tremendous pass to Rupp and Rupp the only reason Rupp didn’t score was because the puck hit Boyle in front. Gaborik hit the post later on. What a game for Ryan McDonagh. He is a beast who reminds me of Scott Niedemeyer with his stamina and skating ability. Thank for him Montreal. Great game as usual by Lundqvist. By Dale Hunter’s fetish for Jay Beagle really cost the Caps the game as Beagle was on the ice for the winning goalie trying to cover Gabby in front.

  14. mrpigs - May 3, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    I’m a Ranger fan and I pooped myself about 45 times this game! Thank u lil
    Tiny 6oz baby Jesus!

  15. mianfr - May 3, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    I have no problem saying that game had the best goaltending of the playoffs thus far.

    Really, just phenomenal all around. There weren’t any boneheaded plays and no one got caught out of position to lead to a junk goal.

    I know it’s happened three times now, but Washington may really have something in this rookie goalie they found for the playoffs.

    I just hope that something develops a little later on…

    • barkar942 - May 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      I agree that the Caps may have found their franchise goalie in Holtby. Reminds me of a little bit calmer Mike Smith who stays in the net. Smith reminds me of Hextall with all of the roaming.

  16. jaybyrd99 - May 3, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Unbelievable game ! Shades of stemmer a long time ago ! Both goalies were fabulous , as was the post …again . These games are pressure cookers but I love it. I’m a rangers fan and enjoyed the outcome but this series is far from over . Ovechkin looked scary good , Holtby is the real deal for these playoffs and the teams seem evenly matched . I’m just glad us fans have an extra day off to get our heart rates back to normal by Saturday afternoon !

  17. bbk1000 - May 3, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    I’d like to re-introduce you as you rarely meet.

    Marian, this is playoff goal. Playoff goal, this is Marian.

    Why don’t the two of you get more aquainted.

    What a game, go Rangers!!!!!!!

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