In game one the Rangers were outplayed but still managed to rack up 4 goals, 2 of which were the elusive power play goals that gave the Rangers hives during the regular season. Alexander Ovechkin took a bazillion shots, all of which scared the BeJacobs out of me. Also there's this guy who plays goalie for the Rangers, Lundqvist or something, who did a bang up job of being Superman for the day. He's pretty good. Lucky, I suppose.
In game two, the Rangers were again outplayed. I suspected that game one was a fluke. Maybe the Caps took the boys in blue for granted and didn't give it their all. Game two would have to be different for the Caps. They were stunned in the first game but wouldn't fall for that again. These were my assumptions leading up to the game which were worthless since the Rangers managed a 1-0 win. That goalie for the Rangers is the real deal. He's stopped 67 of 70 shots in two games. Lundqvist has been the equalizer for the Rangers.
Before this series, I was terrified. Now? Well I'm still terrified but this series is more evenly matched than I thought. The Capitals never had strong goal tending all season but managed a 50-24-8 record on a high scoring offense and a strong power play unit. The Rangers had strong goal tending, a non existent power play, sporadic scoring and the strongest penalty kill in the NHL.
These Rangers won't lay down any offensive massacres but they'll annoy the fuck out of opponents. The Rangers block shots. They slow down teams with a backcheck. They makes the most of their limited opportunities in the offensive zone to score goals. They go after the best players. That's why you hear about Ovechkin cursing in frustration during the games. That's why you see the Capitals making a desperation move in changing goalies after one game in the playoffs. The Rangers don't really have them on the ropes but with a win tonight, it's spells almost certain doom in Washington. I'm still terrified of Ovechkin though. I bet Capitals fans feel the same way about Lundqvist.
The game starts at 7pm. It's at the Garden. This may be the toughest test for the Rangers. Before it was a an extremely talented Capitals team. Now it's an angry Capitals team. Lundqvist will have to be superman again.