Rangers Survive in Dramatic Fashion

The Rangers were 1:41 away from bowing out of the playoffs by being shutout for the second time in three games. But with Henrik Lundqvist on the way to the bench, Chris Kreider finally found a way to beat Braden Holtby on the team’s 36th shot on goal of the game. That set the stage for overtime, where Ryan McDonagh blasted the game-winner for a 2-1 win and a return trip to Washington for Game 6.

Much like every other game in the series, the Rangers jumped out to an early lead on the shot clock. The early push was highlighted by a glorious scoring chance from in close for Martin St. Louis, but he failed to capitalize/was stoned by Braden Holtby (who continued his brilliant play).

The pace slowed down considerably by the second period, and eventually settled into an even, back and forth affair. The Rangers’ best chance came off a rebound opportunity for Derick Brassard, whose shot missed over a wide-open net thanks to an ever so slight deflection by Mike Green. It was reminiscent of Slava Voynov just getting a piece of Rick Nash’s shot in Game 5 of the Final last year.

In the final minutes of the second period, the Capitals appeared to score the game’s first goal, but it was immediately waved off for goalie interference. It seemed like an appropriate call to me:

Washington did eventually score the game’s first goal, when an aggressive play in the offensive zone by the Rangers turned into a Curtis Glencross breakaway, who followed up the initially stopped first shot with a rebound goal. There’s a lot going on here: a nice play by Tom Wilson to strip Kevin Klein, Keith Yandle’s poorly executed pinch, and a nice feed from Matt Niskanen:

With nine minutes to play after Glencross’ goal, the Rangers didn’t muster much of a push to save their season. Fortunately, Kreider tied it up on a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle, which may have been aided by a deflection off Brooks Orpik’s skate:

Overtime was pretty painful to sit through, but a beautiful winner made the ups and downs all worth it:

Charts

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