Late penalties spoil Rangers’ comeback attempt

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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.