I'm not going to sit here and throw stats and numbers at you today. That game took too much out of all of us and honestly I really just don't feel like looking at them. If you want to know the stats then here's a link to the NHL site.
For those who couldn't watch the game here's a short recap. The Rangers Stralman opened up the scoring about halfway through the first frame at even strength. Then Brooks Laich tied it up in the second. Carlson then snapped the 1-1 tie early in the final third, giving the Caps the lead with plenty of time left. The Capitals held that lead until the final 7.6 seconds of the game where Richards and the Rangers caught a break and tied the game on the Ward high-sticking penalty. The game headed to overtime where it didn't take long for Staal to find the net and finish off the improbable NYR win.
There's no way to sugarcoat that game. It hurt. A lot. The Capitals seemed to be outplayed right from the opening face off but found themselves holding a one goal lead with less than a minute to play. The penalty kill that had stood strong all game long looked poised to hold the Rangers, even when facing the two extra attackers. But the rebound off of the initial shot went straight to a Ranger who got it past all the traffic to Richards who nailed the wide open net.
Even with that penalty, which I was screaming many expletives at, I have gained a ton of respect for Joel Ward. After the game he was ready for the press and was not hiding from his actions. He took the blame and said he let the team down, going from a hero in one series to a goat in this one. Through it all he remained a class act. While the penalty was his fault and was possibly one of the worst in Capitals history, I believe that the loss is not entirely on him. There were many opportunities for the Caps to bolster the lead with 4 or 5 failed odd man rushes throughout the game. The penalty is a big reason for the outcome of this game, but it's not the only one.
Many things could have happened, even in the final seconds to change the outcome. Winning a defensive zone face off, or even Holtby grabbing that rebound would have allowed the Caps to take the important 3-2 series lead. But neither happened and we find ourselves one game away from elimination in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So what can we do? Well I read somewhere that we shouldn't take it too hard because this was one of the worst games from Washington's perspective and one of the best for the Rangers. I mean it took them two power play goals to collect the win. All I can say is we have to put this one behind us and come out like we did after the devastating triple overtime loss in Game 3. The Caps are comeback kids and are 3-0 when facing elimination. Holtby has yet to lose two in a row in the playoffs. We can do this. This team has the skill and the heart to take us into the Eastern Conference Final.
The Capitals will be ready for Game 6. It's in front of our home crowd and could not be more crucial. It's time for them to defend Verizon Center in front of a sea of red! Puck drops at 7:30 in DC. Be ready and stay confident!
Caps in 7. And as always, Lets Go Caps!!
P.S. It could be worse. You could be a fan of these guys