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Discuss: Rangers exploit double-minor for amazing comeback win

May 7, 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers celebrates with teammate Dan Girardi #5 after scoring a goal to tie up the game late in the third period against Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

Will Washington forward Joel Ward‘s four-minute high-sticking penalty prove to be the turning point of this series? Washington seemed to be on their way to a 2-1 victory and 3-2 series lead when Ward was penalized with 22 seconds remaining in regulation time.

Brad Richards netted a power-play goal with just 6.6 seconds left on the clock to tie the game. The penalty was a double-minor, so the Rangers started overtime with the man advantage and Marc Staal found the back of the net 1:35 minutes into the extra frame.

Maybe the Rangers would have pulled off the comeback even without the penalty, but it certainly made things easier for them.

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Here’s a few interesting notes:

  • In addition to scoring the game-tying goal, Richards won 12 of 18 faceoff opportunities.
  • This was another big shot blocking game for Washington. The Capitals got in front of 25 shots.
  • The rink was tilted in the first period. The Rangers had 17 shots to Washington’s four through 20 minutes of play. Despite that, the Capitals weren’t completely devoid of scoring chances early on and the Rangers only had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame.
  • Maybe it’s because Washington was trailing or tied with the Rangers for most of this contest, but Alex Ovechkin got plenty of ice time. He finished the game with 19:08 minutes.
  1. goskinsvt - May 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    That was a terrible, terrible penalty. Joel Ward goes from hero to goat.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      Egregious….. Those words sum up my feelings for Joel Ward

      • brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:49 PM

        Well I didn’t think it was THAT bad, but I’m sure you’re hurting a lot more than I am right now.

      • stakex - May 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

        I see what you did there….

        The funny thing is should the Rangers have not scored at the end of the game, no one would remember right now that he even took that penelty. Now? How can anyone forget. Its amazing how fast things can change in this sport.

    • nyr1 - May 8, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      He’s trying to make a play there & prevent his man from getting the puck. Can’t kill a guy for an accidental high stick, it happens. That being said, thank you Joel!!!!!

  2. ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Joel Ward just cost the Capitals the series… Queue up the DC Racists

    • brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      Oh man, don’t….go….there.

      • ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 11:10 PM

        Not me, Bro… I just thought the Capital Letters of my post Above containing the Adjectives

  3. caps247 - May 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Even though I’m a die-hard Caps fan, I was laughing hysterically after the rangers scored in overtime. I saw it coming, the whole team and the fans around me were all out of momentum. That was so incredibly lousy- with 6.6 seconds left in the game, and a chance to put it away and gain a series lead. Of course, Wardo had to take the 4:00 double minor and screw us all. The Caps didn’t deserve to win after that screwup, and I’m probably going to hell for laughing at this.

    • brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      I’m empathetic – it’s called being a hockey fan!

  4. stakex - May 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    On behalf of all Rangers fans I would like to say thanks Joel, you the man!

    My bias aside I still think the better team this game ended up winning. The Rangers bombed Washington for most of the game, and just couldn’t find a way to score. Throw in a couple soft goals from Lundquist and the Rangers looked like a team about to lose a game they should have easily won…. boy how that flipped around in 2 short minutes.

  5. biffnasty - May 7, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Wow!!!!! Crazy crazy game! Love the never say die of the rangers!!! They deserved it. Well plAyed Torts, coach of the year!!!!!

    • ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Torts for C.O.Y?… If you guys didn’t have Henrik Lundqvist, you would be a 10th place team!… Not much coaching there

      • brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:52 PM

        I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree on that ravenscaps48.

      • stakex - May 7, 2012 at 11:01 PM

        While it might be true the Rangers wouldn’t be where they are without Lundquist (his recent soft goals, like both of them tonight aside), Torts is certainly getting the most out of the players he has. Coach of the year? Perhaps not… but hes certainly in the running.

      • ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 11:13 PM

        Sorry… I was just angry at the time! Haha. I like Torts and Hank… But I just hated to lose that game on such a careless, CARELESS play

  6. sportsfreak13 - May 7, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    I feel sorry for caps fans. This year has been a roller coaster ride for caps fans emotions and that ot goal was a real dagger. Condolence high 5.

  7. caps247 - May 7, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Now it’s time for my occasional stare-at-the-wall-with-mouth-wide-open-for-a-few-hours routine until I finally get the common sense to get some sleep.

  8. frek5 - May 7, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    That was insane. I’m happy it wasn’t a controversial call.

    • stakex - May 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      Yeah. I would still have been happy the Rangers won, but it certainly would have been tainted if it was a BS call.

  9. Stiller43 - May 7, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Thats a shame…

  10. caps247 - May 7, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Why does hockey stress and depress me so.

    • brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      You’re not alone.

  11. maalea - May 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Don’t you just love this sport?

    How in hell can a PP unit that couldn’t hit water falling out of a boat, pot 2 goals in less than 2 minutes?

  12. caps247 - May 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    I’ll just say it now: if that cost the Caps a series, I would not like to see Ward on the team next year. Or Wideman. Or Shultz. Wideman for too many close calls and some games lost because of bad positioning. Shultz for terrible regular season play.

  13. stronghand5d - May 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Such a great game, latest comeback in Rangers history! Had me on the edge of my seat the entire game!

  14. dawglb - May 7, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    The Rangers looked tired…. That double minor was (pardon me for staying what may be obvious to all) a series-changer. The Caps would have won tonight, and easily won one of the next two (again, Rangers looked slow and tired). Wow!

    • oconnor007 - May 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Slow and tired?! Getting outshot 2-1?

      If anything had Holtby not been so magnificent tonight, I bet the Rangers win 4-2.

      COME ON, it’s not all luck here.

  15. cspsrbums - May 7, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    1st of all torts coach of the year what a joke he did nothing but whin about penalties he is a clown. Now this game is not on Ward it’s on Hunter You need to win faceoffs put someone in that can win Faceoffs Hendricks I believe was 12 for 12 Caps lost every s down the stretch 2nd Wideman and Shultz are horrible the best players for the Rangers Hunter needs to send them packing on the ice For 90% of the goal 2 tonight minus 8for the playoffs the worst in the league so don’t give Big Dale any credit As A Caps fan This is going to be to tuff to rebound

  16. brian32556 - May 7, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    In any event, the games have all been close, well played AND CLEAN (with a couple of close shaves)!

  17. frek5 - May 7, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    I’m still not sold on Holtby. I haven’t seen him have to make too many tough saves this series. Most shots are at his chest, bad angles or right at the pads.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      He’s 22 Years Old in his first ever NHL Playoff Run… I’m not sold on you being a hockey fan

    • sportsfreak13 - May 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      theres a reason most shots are at his chest . Its called good goalie positioning. This kids the real deal not just another capital goalie hack (no offense caps fans).

    • brian32556 - May 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      While there have been “flashes in the pan” in the playoffs before, many have not shown the same brilliance during the regular season and then flittered away the following season. Only time will tell. if Holtby is the real deal.

  18. mianfr - May 7, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    I hope this finally broke the Caps.

    The Rangers dominated period one, but they were badly outplayed for the second two.

    To turn it around like this… You have to hope that breaks down an opponent.

  19. cruuuzcontrol - May 7, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    That… was… AWESOME!! Let’s go Rangers!!!!!

  20. bmorethansteel - May 7, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    I’m a Caps fan but still understand sports. It had to go one way or the other. Just not our night. Penalty was legit. Now a must at Verizon and go to 7. Doable considering the Rangers needed consecutive goals on a high stick that extended into OT. 5 on 5 OT….. Different game

  21. bmorethansteel - May 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Don’t matter for all you hopeful Rangers fans. If the Kings keep playing the way they are, nobody in the East is winning. Period

    • oconnor007 - May 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      Quick vs. Lundqvist could be one for the ages

  22. biffnasty - May 7, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Raven..Torts has not only lead a very young team to the best record in the east, he also has his team believing in his system. King Henry is amazing as we all know and major part of the team. however, torts great leadership has the New York Rangers 1 game from the Eastern conference finals….BOOOOOOOOOOOM

  23. gaborik104life - May 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGG. New trophy the NYR need to give out: the 8th man award (5 skaters, 1 goalie, and the fans then 8th man). Given to the player on the opposing team that helps get them a victory that turns out to be the biggest one of the season. This year’s winner hand’s down Joel WARRRRDDDDDDDDDDD. You are the man can not thank you enough.

    Kidding aside series is not over and I have not seen Staal play like that all year god he was back to his #1 dman rank tonight what a game and last shift by him before the goal even. Thank you Staalsy and Straalsy what a great signing you have turned into. Gaborik & Richards great games. Honestly wth is happening with Dubi and Sauer have not heard anything about them at all do any other rangers fans have updates because I am completely out of the loop with them.

    Summarize my long comments:

  24. balewsquare - May 8, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Reminds me of CHI vs NAS Round 1, Game 5 in 2010. Except the tying goal was a shorty.

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