Tag: New York Rangers

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven

Rangers’ praise for Stepan extends beyond OT winner


New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan had his, erm, “Stepan Matteau” moment when he scored the 2-1 OT winner against the Washington Capitals in Game 7.

Still, if you ask his Rangers teammates, he’s done more than score a memorable goal. The praise goes high for his larger body of work in that tight series.

“I thought Stepan was the best player all series,” Kevin Hayes said, according to WFAN’s Sean Harnett.

Hartnett reports that Chris Kreider backed that up, pointing out that Stepan was making “little plays” before this huge one drew all that attention.

It’s no surprise that Stepan received “The Broadway Hat,” although one wonders if some of the logic follows that the Rangers probably get tired of handing it over to Henrik Lundqvist so often:

Here’s Stepan’s take on Wednesday’s big Game 7 win.

Ovechkin believes Washington deserved better


Dejected and exhausted. That’s probably the best way to describe Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin after his guarantee didn’t come true on Wednesday.

Ovechkin didn’t have much of an explanation for why the Capitals fell just short against the New York Rangers in Game 7 and in the series overall, although he did praise Henrik Lundqvist moments after Washington’s season came to a crushing end.

The tone of Ovechkin’s comments more or less parallel the reactions from teammates and head coach Barry Trotz. In short: the result stings, yet the Capitals seem happy about their efforts (and optimistic about the future).

Stepan up: Rangers best Caps in overtime of Game 7


Alex Ovechkin scored and made his presence felt in Game 7, but the New York Rangers got what matters: the win. Derek Stepan put home the 2-1 overtime game-winner, ending the Washington Capitals’ season and punching New York’s ticket to the 2015 Eastern Conference finals.

In the process, the Rangers became the first team in NHL history to rally back from 3-1 series deficits in consecutive postseasons.

With that, the two teams seem to fall into a narrative of success and failure:

The start seemed to point toward a minor Messier moment for Ovechkin. He scored a nice goal to put Washington up 1-0 and enjoyed plenty of chances throughout the game. Braden Holtby also made an impression by spurning Rick Nash on a shorthanded breakaway chance.

Things really swung in the second period, however, as they took advantage of a string of power-play opportunities to tie things up. Kevin Hayes punched in a beautiful J.T. Miller pass to make it 1-1, setting the stage for a nerve-wracking finish.

(The third period didn’t provide much action … but there was plenty of violence and personal dentistry.)

The overtime was fast and furious with both teams getting some golden chances. There was one scary stretch for the Rangers early on:

As strong as Holtby was in this series, Henrik Lundqvist & Co. move on. The legend of Lundqvist only continues:

The Rangers move on to what should be a fascinating conference final matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Capitals, meanwhile, face an offseason full of questions as they’re forced to digest yet another punch to the gut in the playoffs.

Even after a strong game, many will question Ovechkin, especially considering the guarantee and the disappointing outcome. The one thing we can’t debate: Ovechkin (and Barry Trotz) have never made it beyond the round two of a postseason.