Rangers Vs. Capitals: On To Game 7

Paul Bereswill

Notes from the Rangers win over the Capitals.

- So these past few games have been intense, no? It seems like every game these two teams play are absolute heart-stoppers and Game 6 lived up to that claim. It is, of course, a huge victory for the New York Rangers who forced a Game 7 in Washington, but it wasn't pretty.

- Then again, who cares how pretty these wins are so long as they're wins. The Rangers have scrapped and clawed in this series, but so have the Capitals.

- Right at the top let's give all the credit in the world to Henrik Lundqvist. Sometimes it really does feel like he needs to stand on his head for the Rangers to win games. He was spectacular on Sunday, simply spectacular. He made some unreal saves at really clutch times to force the decisive game in this series. You can see how much it mattered to him after everything was said and done, too. The guy cares, he wants to win and so far only two goals in this series can really be "on him."

- At what point do we change Derick Brassard's name to "Big Game Brassard?" He's been so much of everything the Rangers have needed since Game 3 of the playoffs. A huge game-winning goal on Sunday. That gives him seven points (two goals and five assists) in these six games. Oh by the way, he leads the team in goals (tied with a couple of guys) and assists (Mats Zuccarello is next with four) - so he's really getting the job done.

- Again, let's give tons of credit to Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. The duo once again kept Alex Ovechkin and his line in check. They've gotten the job done all series, really, but there are times when John Tortorella can see he needs to steady the ship and throws them out there even if Ovechkin isn't on the ice. That speaks a lot to how good the two of them are.

- Speaking of the defense, Michael Del Zotto has had a really tough postseason but he was really solid Sunday. Give him credit where credit is due. He made some big hits, took care of the puck in his own zone and made some solid plays for the Rangers all night. Hopefully there's more of that from him.

- John Moore only played 12 minutes but he earned an assist and I thought he looked pretty good. He can be physical, too, but his skating really makes you shake his head. He's just so fluid and it really helps him keep up with some of the speedy forwards the Capitals have in their lineup. Still, I would like to see him play a little bit more than 12 minutes. I also don't know why he's not back on the power play. Not like anyone else is getting the job done there.

- And really, can the power play get any worse? 2-for-26. Seriously, 2-for-26. I get that the power play is bad but it's not even like the coaching staff is trying to fix it. They're doing the same thing every single time and it's not working. It's decided too many games already, let's try to shake things up.

- Give Derek Dorsett a lot of credit for that win, too. He really gave the type of performance people have comes to expect from him from his days in Columbus. He drew three penalties, was good in all three zones and was physical all night. You can't ask much more from him. He also made a few nice offensive plays. Nice to see him get going. I think the first few games he was a little slow on the jump simply because he had been out of action so long but he looked great Sunday.

- I've seen a lot of media talk about Rick Nash's wrist being badly injured. I'm starting to buy those claims. He made a really big impact on Game 6, regardless, but he's simply not shooting the puck the way he did in the regular season and that doesn't make any sense. This has nothing to do with the bright lights, something is wrong. Still, he played really well Sunday, so hopefully there's more of that despite the injury.

- Brian Boyle played a hell of a game too, right?

- Anton Stralman, too. What a find by Glen Sather last year.

- It took a while but Tortorella finally made the right call with Brad Richards. Played him under 10 minutes and demoted him to the fourth line. Nothing against Richards, you can see he cares and wants to be better, but it's not worth risking it. He did win all of his faceoffs, though.

- Chris Kreider played less than five minutes. Don't ask me why, I thought he looked fine.

- I know Capitals fan are probably furious that the Rangers weren't called for any penalties, and there were two (the Ryan Callahan elbow and the Dorsett trip) that could have been called. But the Capitals got away with murder after the first period, so things really were far more even than it showed on the stat sheet.

- And a quick turnaround back to Washington as the Rangers and Capitals play for their playoff lives. The Rangers need to win on the road. It's simple. Win tonight, move on to the second round.

Thoughts?

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