NHL postseason history is littered with the broken dreams of teams who lost lengthy overtime games. That being said, there are exceptions to the rule and if something unusual were to happen, the consistently weird 2012 playoffs would be the right time for that to occur.
The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 in triple overtime tonight and fell behind 2-1 in the series as well. For some, the series might as well be over, yet Braden Holtby ranks among the many who aren’t convinced.
A question of fatigue
If you ask me, the series could change on a dime if the Capitals win in Game 4 for a simple reason: fatigue. As you’ll see from this post and the box score, only one Washington player passed the 40-minute mark (Dennis Wideman). Contrast that with four New York defensemen (including Ryan McDonagh, who logged a ridiculous 53-plus minutes) and even one forward (Ryan Callahan) who passed 40 minutes and it’s not crazy to say that Washington might have a shot if this series goes long.
In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).
Here’s his first goal of the night:
While this is his overtime game-winner:
It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.
Credit Frank Vatrano. Bad penalty in 3rd period & but makes up for it with game-winner in OT. That's how you get in Claude circle of trust
The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.
October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.
November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.
Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.
More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.
Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.