Rangers strike twice in miraculous win over Capitals 3-2
In a stunning turnaround that brought the Rangers from the brink of elimination to the cusp of the Eastern Conference finals, the Rangers scored twice within two minutes of ice time Monday night at Madison Square Garden and top the Capitals 3-2 in overtime.
With the victory, the Raners will take a 3-2 lead into Washington tomorrow for Game 6 of this thrilling Eastern Conference semifinal.
Brad Richards scored a power-play goal with 6.6 seconds left in the third period to tie the score and Marc Staal scored on a power-play at 1:35 of the first overtime. Staal’s slap shot on a pass from John Mitchell went off Brooks Laich’s stick, through a screen and past goalie Braden Holtby’s stick side.
“We talked about trying to go out there and get it right away,” Lundqvist said.
Regulation had ended just as dramatically as the Rangers rallied to tie the game at 2-2 on Richards’ six-on-four power-play goal; goalie Henrik Lundqvist had been pulled for an extra skater.
It was the latest the Rangers, who tallied 38 shots, had ever scored to tie a playoff game.
If the Rangers prevail in this wrenching series, they will face off against either the Devils or the Flyers for a shot at the Stanley Cup final in nearly two decades.
With 21.3 seconds left in regulation and the Rangers trailing 2-1, Joel Ward received a double-minor for high-sticking Carl Hagelin, and with Lundqvist pulled, the Blueshirts had a two-man advantage. Ryan Callahan banged away in front and Holtby stopped the shots, but Richards slid the puck under Holtby for his fifth goal of the postseason.
A power-play goal by John Carlson that went in off Lundqvist’s glove at 4:20 of the third period had seemed to be the game winner at 2-1, because the Rangers had struggled to score on Holtby.
Anton Stralman gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead during a first period dominated by the Blueshirts.