So much of the
On Monday night at
The New York Rangers scored twice on that power play —
"It's a game of inches. It happens pretty quick. We were a few seconds [away from] winning, and it turned into an overtime and then a loss just like that," Ward said. " It definitely is. It's a little mentally disturbing for sure right now. It's tough to be in that position when you're letting the team down."
Washington had been nursing a 2-1 lead since
The Rangers pulled
"It's a real tough pill to swallow with six seconds left,"
Because Ward's penalty was a double-minor, New York's power play carried into the overtime period. Rangers fourth-liner
"I didn't see a thing," Holtby said. "So whether I had a lane or not, I'd have to look at it on video to see if I could have done a better job seeing around the traffic. That's what happens when we play a style where we block a lot of shots: Sometimes those go in."
It was a gut-wrenching swing in the contest for the Capitals, who were less than seven seconds away from returning home for Game 6 on Wednesday with a chance to clinch a series victory. Instead they could do little to quell the surge of momentum for New York, which put bookends on the contest with a strong start and even better finish.
The Rangers opened the contest with heavy hits and made sure that every trip across the offensive blue line included a shot on Holtby. They wound up outshooting Washington 17-4 in the first period but would only have a 1-0 lead to show for it.
In the second, Brooks Laich ended an eight-game scoring drought at 8:15 to even things up at 1 when his shot from the slot beat a screened Lundqvist. Then at the beginning of the third, Carlson sent a booming shot past a stickless Callahan to make it 2-1 less than five minutes into the frame.
The lead allowed the Capitals to do what they've done so well throughout this postseason: Focus on defending, minimizing mistakes and supporting Holtby for the rest of the contest. This time, though, that wouldn't be enough to prevent the penalty by Ward and the game-changing momentum shift that came with it.