May 7, 2012, 10:58 PM EDT
Earlier in the 2012 playoffs – and during plenty of moments in the 2011 postseason – Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward was a surprise hero. That won’t take the sting off Monday’s events a whole lot, however, as his late high-sticking double-minor opened the door for not one, but two enormous New York Rangers goals. To his credit, Ward owned up to the mistake to Tarik El-Bashir and other media members.
“It’s tough when you let the team down on a play like that,” Ward said.
Stephen Whyno captured Ward’s mood beyond that mature quote.
Joel Ward answers questions with his usual class, then sat at his locker for what felt like five minutes. Guys don’t just sit there. Surreal.
Obviously, Ward’s mistake was enormous, yet the Capitals’ penalty kill still cratered in the end. It’s one thing for a team to make a penalized player feel grief with one power-play goal, but New York did it twice. Brad Richards tied it with just seven seconds left in the third while Marc Staal collected the game-winner with about 23 seconds left in the second minor.
The Rangers now find themselves with a gift of a 3-2 series lead on a 3-2 OT win, their second overtime victory of this series. Ward and his team has a chance to soothe some of the pain starting with Game 6 on Wednesday; otherwise the likeable winger will have a lot of regrets this summer.
- NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas 23
- Report: Richards’ border incident involved oxycodone 46
- Trade: Bieksa headed to California — but it’s Anaheim, not San Jose 20
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago 85
- Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames 18
- Sharks get Jones from Bruins for first-round pick and unsigned prospect 42
- Hurricanes to buy out Semin 15
- Bruins are talking to teams about Savard, but not Rask 13
- Report: Richards part of police investigation 47
- UFA of the Day: Mike Green 5
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (87)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)
- Trade: Busy Bruins send Lucic to Kings (66)