Washington, D.C. — Last night’s Capitals vs. Rangers matchup ended in overtime when Mike Ribeiro scored the game-winner at 9:24.
It was the center’s first playoff goal in five years and gives the Caps a 3-2 series lead over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarter finals as both hockey teams head back to Madison Square Garden for game six — a potential elimination game — on Sunday. Said Ribeiro: “I know I was behind that D, and the puck just came onto my stick. It was pretty cool.”
The Rangers, who find themselves in a must-win situation after fighting back from a two game deficit, also lost to the Capitals in overtime in Game 2 at the Verizon Center. The last four games have been decided by one goal.
The Capitals gave up a goal to the Rangers’ center Brian Boyle in the first minute of the game but they pitched a shutout for the rest of the afternoon. The Caps’ Joel Ward scored on a power play in the second period. New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had 33 saves. His counterpart Braden Holtby had 24 saves.
Ironically it was Boyle’s penalty that created the power play situation leading to Ribeiro’s game-ending goal for the Caps.
Sunday’s meeting between the two NHL teams gives the Washington Capitals a closeout opportunity: “The Caps took a 3-2 lead in a series in which the home team has not lost. The Rangers clawed back from a 2-0 series deficit by taking Games 3 and 4 at the Garden, but now they must win Game 6 on Sunday afternoon at home just to stay alive for a Game 7 Monday night back in D.C.”
Ribeiro, who signed a five-year contract with the Dallas Stars in 2008, was traded by the Stars to the Capitals in June 2012.
[Image credit: Michael Miller]
Who do you think will win ultimately the series, the Capitals or the Rangers? Do you think the playoff series will go seven games?