Video: Capitals spend almost two minutes in Rangers’ zone

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There are plenty of things that tend to separate “hardcore” hockey fans from “casual” ones, but generally speaking, yelling “SHOOOOOT” is generally frowned upon in the puck snob community. Even so, there are times when the most restrained of us get that instinct. This impressive bit of puck possession for the Washington Capitals in Game 7 is a good example of that; they clearly had the New York Rangers on the ropes, but couldn’t cash in.

Some point to Henrik Lundqvist’s stellar play to explain the ultimately fruitless play. Others also believe that shot-blocking and lane-clogging had a bigger impact.

Yet when you watch Roman Hamrlik and Mike Green exchange passes while they (seemingly) offer half-hearted faked shots, this clip turns into a bit of a “What if?” scenario. You can’t beat up the Caps for an impressive run of control there – and New York’s desperation can be summarized by Artem Anisimov’s sprawling clear – yet it’s hard not to wonder if one of those Washington blueliners should have pulled the trigger.

Either way, it’s a pretty stunning clip, especially since the Rangers ending up winning by one (albeit 2-1).

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Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

Justin Abdelkader
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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: