There are just two words for the Rangers 2-1 loss to the Capitals tonight: Stunned disbelief.
There’s no other way to describe it with Joel Ward scoring with 1.7 seconds left in the game.
There’s just no other way.
It’s what the Red Sox felt after Game 6.
It’s what the Seahawks felt after this year’s Super Bowl.
It’s what the courtroom felt after Elle Woods got a confession in Legally Blonde.
It’s what the Rangers felt tonight.
“It’s tough to take considering the play developing with the hit (to Dan Boyle),” said Martin St. Louis. “It’s how it happened, it’s tough to take. This time of year you have to shake it off. Both teams played hard, but we didn’t get the win tonight. We will go back to work tomorrow.”
Dan Boyle was boarded by Alex Ovechkin giving Joel Ward the chance to give the Capitals the win. It should have been a penalty, but it instead it’s now 1-0 Washington.
“Off the top I saw Boyler get hit go down and I thought the referees were going to blow (the whistle),” said Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. “I kind of hesitated for a second and he’s going around the net, makes a good play out front and they bang it in with a second to go.”
Yes, it’s only Game 1 and there’s plenty of series left to play, but this is the kind of loss that is tough for a team to take and it now makes Game 2 even more important. The Rangers played well tonight. They spent a lot of time in the Caps zone and threw a good amount of pucks to the net. Braden Holtby is the only reason why Ward’s goal meant anything.
But Alain Vigneault needs to make the right chances going into Game 2. They need to give Ovechkin less space on the ice. They needs to crash Holtby more and they need to tighten up with the puck going through the neutral zone.
There were just too many turnovers tonight and only because Henrik Lundqvist was well…Henrik Lundqvist the Rangers were able to stay in this game.
“A couple of times we passed up some shots, especially early on in the first couple of periods,” McDonagh said. “The third period we tried to throw a lot more at the net and you see what happens. We found a way to get one (goal) so we continue to work hard to get on the inside of their D-men, get to those rebounds a little but more and continue to defend well in fives. I thought we, for the majority of the game, kept their Grade-A chances down so that’s an area we have to continue and our offense will come off of that.”
The Rangers need to put this behind them and regroup for Game 2 on Saturday. Going down 0-2 at home in a series makes it very difficult; however, this is an experience squad who knows what’s at stake.
“It’s like losing in overtime pretty much,” Lundqvist said. “You just have to put it behind you, you have to move on. Right now it’s going to be tough for the next couple hours, then you start focusing on the next game. It’s going to come fast – an early one on Saturday. That’s what we are looking for right now, to come back and have a better game and better result.”
They better or they will be in even more stunned disbelief in about a week.