NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Chris Kreider #20 celebrates his third period goal with teammate Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Capitals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Is there really anything more you can say about Chris Kreider? This kid is transforming into a stud, right before our eyes. Kreider's go ahead goal at 7:00 mark of the third period wound up being the game winning goal, and that's his second in the last three games.
The Rangers started the game with an upbeat temp and got three quick shots in on Braden Holtby. They would then go several minutes with a shot, as Washington quickly turned around the momentum in their favor. The Garden crowd began to quiet for a few moments as this happened. However, the Rangers got out of the period and headed into the locker rooms with a 0-0 deadlock.
Moment's after Stefan Matteau was shown inside Madison Square Garden, Artem Anisimov scores a Matteau-like wraparound, and gives the Rangers the first goal of the game. You really can't get anything better then that. This goal came as a direct result of the Rangers killing off a huge, and I mean HUGE, 5-on-3 power play for the Capitals. The Garden crowd loved every second of it, and the Rangers answered for them.
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In the dying minutes of the second period, Jason Chimera was able to get the Capitals on the board. Brooks Laich made a picture perfect tape-to-tape saucer pass, and Chimera tapped it home. It was definitely a buzz kill for the Rangers as they were dominant since Anisimov's first goal of playoffs.
The Rangers were able to overcome the late goal by the Capitals, as none other then Chris Kreider gave the Rangers an early third period lead. A lot of Capitals fans and reporters were underestimating Kreider heading into this series, and he proved every single one of them wrong. Kreider took advantage of a bad change by Mike Green, as he flew down the center of the ice.
Kreider wound up and ripped a shot under the arm of Holtby and the Garden exploded. Shortly after, the Garden broke out into a full out "Kreider!" chant. This kid is the real deal. But he didn't stop just there. Just over a minute later, Kreider would assist on a goal coming from Brad Richards, which put the Rangers up 3-1 in the third period.
Henrik Lundqvist stood his ground, and was able to preserve the win for the Rangers. The Rangers now have a 1-0 series lead over the Capitals, going into Game Two, on Monday night.
I'm pretty sure Joe and I now share the same love for Kreider, the kid is just awesome.