The New York Rangers had been playing catch-up for most of Monday’s game when Ryan Callahan finally found the back of the net at 6:58 of the third period to even the score at 2-2. They seemed to have momentum on their side and for a short time it looked like they might pull off a comeback.
In the end though, they were undone by minor penalties at 9:53 and then 12:29 of the third period. The Rangers were able to kill off the first penalty, but Alex Ovechkin scored off the latter opportunity to led the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory.
“Can’t give things for free… You battle back as hard as we did, you can’t take four minutes in penalties (late),” said Rangers coach John Tortorella.
That might sound obvious, but as we’ve seen, it’s also easier said than done.
The Rangers’ penalty killing percentage is 84.8, which is lukewarm by the 2012 postseason’s standards. Washington’s effectiveness with the man advantage also hasn’t stuck out in the playoffs. Still, those untimely penalties might have cost the Rangers a game and the advantage in this series. Now they will have to take at least one contest in Washington if they want to get into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.