The Washington Capitals lost in overtime to the New York Rangers on Friday, although there was a controversial moment in the second period, when it appeared the Capitals had taken the lead.
Instead, after contact between Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Capitals forward Joel Ward and Rangers forward Derek Stepan, the goal was immediately waved off and the game remained scoreless going into the third period.
From CSN Washington:
Here’s an explanation from series officiating manager Rob Shick, via a pool reporter:
“The goaltender wasn’t allowed to play his position in the crease. Incidental contact [by Ward]. I support the call. Results in no goal, no penalty.”
A pivotal moment in the game, the Capitals disagreed with the call but seemed to have let it go.
“We felt obviously he was pushed in,” said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, as per the Washington Post. “But they made the call and that was it. We just deal with it and move on.”
In what was a physical, chippy game on Friday, an undisciplined penalty proved costly for the Calgary Flames, who are now facing elimination.
At the end of the second period, Flames forward Joe Colborne got his stick up on Francois Beauchemin while trying to finish his check, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Ducks. And the Anaheim power play made Colborne and the Flames pay.
Just 1:11 into the third period, Matt Beleskey scored on that power play to give the Ducks the lead. That goal stood as the winner. Anaheim went on to win by a final score of 4-2, taking a 3-1 series lead.
“Frustrating,” Colborne told Sportsnet.ca. “Just trying to (walk) that line of being physical. I’m not going to comment on whether I liked (the call) or not, but that’s on me. I definitely let the boys down there.”
The Flames, who were also unsuccessful on a five-on-three power play in the third period when they were trailing by a goal, entered this series as the underdog. They’ll now need a massive comeback — they made a habit of doing that in third periods during the regular season — if they are to have any chance of getting back into this.
After falling behind a goal less than four minutes into the game, the Flames wasted no time battling back. The first six minutes featured three goals, with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland scoring 1:07 apart to give Calgary the lead.
The second period featured numerous turning points.
Frederik Andersen made a sprawling glove save on Johnny Gaudreau to keep it a one-goal game. It was a huge stop. Later in the period, Gaudreau was guilty of a turnover right in front of his own net, directly leading to Andrew Cogliano’s tying goal.
Game 5 goes Sunday in Anaheim.
Johnny Gaudreau had a brilliant chance to give the Calgary Flames a two-goal lead early in the second period, but it was taken away on a brilliant save from Frederik Andersen.
After making the initial save on the point shot, Andersen sprawled to his left to make a spectacular glove save on Gaudreau, with the Flames leading 2-1.
How important was that save?
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano forced a Gaudreau turnover in the slot and scored to tie the game late in the second period.
The New York Rangers, the Presidents’ Trophy winners during the regular season, managed for now to stave off elimination in the second round, extending this series with the Washington Capitals to Game 6 at Verizon Center.
And apparently the pressure is now on the Capitals to close out this series, still leading 3-2 after a loss to the Rangers in overtime on Friday. Game 6 between these teams goes Sunday.
Cue all the chatter about whether the Rangers have put doubt into the minds of the Capitals, and about the swing of momentum.
“We are still alive. Going home now, there’s a lot of pressure for them. I know for sure they don’t want to come back here,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, as per Andrew Gross of The Record.
As you would expect, there are differing opinions on the matter.
“I don’t think so. We’re still the underdog in this series. Pressure’s the same no matter what,” said defenseman Karl Alzner, as per Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post.
“We’re OK right now. We knew that we would see their best effort today and we did. And … I don’t think they’ve seen ours yet,” added head coach Barry Trotz to reporters.
The New York Rangers were less than two minutes away from their season ending. They couldn’t seem to find a way to score on Braden Holtby.
Then Chris Kreider buried a snap shot with 1:41 remaining in regulation to force overtime, and Ryan McDonagh won it at 9:37 of the extra period, as the Rangers came back to earn a 2-1 victory in Game 5 against the Washington Capitals.
That is now the fifth time in these playoffs the Rangers have won by a score of 2-1. Every game they’ve played in this post-season — and they’re now up to 10 — has been decided by a single goal.
Game 6 goes Sunday in Washington.
For the longest time, it seemed the Rangers, despite holding the edge in shots, couldn’t solve Holtby, who was solid from the beginning, as illustrated with this quick left-pad save on Martin St. Louis early in the opening period when the Capitals were really under pressure.
Holtby made 41 saves in the loss.
Things looked even more dire for the Rangers when Curtis Glencross scored on a breakaway to give the visitors a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the third period.
There was a controversial moment in the second period, as the Capitals appeared to score, only to have the goal waved off. There was traffic in front of Henrik Lundqvist, who ended up getting tangled with Joel Ward and Derek Stepan before the puck trickled in behind him.
From CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, citing an explanation from the NHL:
“The goaltender wasn’t allowed to play his position in the crease. Incidental contact.”