It's amazing how one play decides the game. Ryan Callahan has an open net in the first period that unrolled the welcome mat for a 1-1 game and a fresh start. But Niklas Backstrom, who was the Capitals best player aside from Varlamov, wanted to win the game more than the Rangers. He backchecked his ass off and got a stick on Callahan's shot, just deflecting it enough to keep it out of the net. The Capitals rush back and score. Instead of the game being 1-1, it's 2-0 and even more of an uphill battle. It was game over at that point.
The Rangers did something they didn't do in Game 2 that was an integral part of their success, they didn't play disciplined hockey. They were in and out of the box all night which is a death wish against the Capitals.
Sean Avery took four penalties and crossed the line when he did his 'dance' with Simeon Varlamov. But that is the least of the Rangers worries They need to come back in Game 4 and play with the same fire and sense of urgency they did in the begining of the series. They need to win the battles in the corners and along the boards. They need to be as comitted to team defense as they were in Games 1 and 2. It also of the upmost importance that the Rangers stay out of the penalty box.
Game 3 has given the Rangers a wake up call. The series rest on their shoulders, win Game 4 and take a commanding lead in need of only one more win for a victory. Lose Game 4 and well who knows what will happen then. Rangers fans need to remember that it's not over and it's not going to be easy. It's not like it was a sweep or bust for the Rangers.