NHL Playoffs 2012: Rangers Edge Capitals in Triple Overtime Thriller

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NHL Playoffs 2012: Rangers Edge Capitals in Triple Overtime Thriller
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It took three overtime periods, but the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-1 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

This was the most exciting NHL playoff game in recent years, as the Capitals and Rangers went back and forth during six periods of intense playoff hockey.

Tonight's game is a huge reason why the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most exciting in all the major sports, and it showed why the NHL's athletes are among the toughest. Players almost spent a full hour on the ice when you add up individual shifts of playing time and left everything they had out there.

Both Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby were phenomenal, and each made mind-numbing saves and benefited from the pieces of iron behind them.

At all times, the fans were on the edge of their seats as the Rangers and Capitals rushed up and down the ice. There was blood shed, bodies bruised and hearts broken as Marian Gaborik scored the game-winning goal set up by Brad Richards.

Early on in the first overtime, Alex Ovechkin rung a shot off the post and almost won it for the Capitals. Later on, the Capitals had a few odd-man rushes that included a 3-on-1 with Alex Semin leading the charge.

Both sides are exhausted, and so are the fanbases, but the Rangers have gained a huge momentum swing by winning on the road in a triple overtime thriller.

Via Peter Botte, here is a quote from John Tortorella on Ryan McDonagh.

Tortorella on McDonagh's 53-plus minutes: "Mac is a guy, he has a mental toughness about him that has impressed us right away, when he first came to us. We kept asking him, are you OK? He said he was fine, he wanted more...It's a really good experience for our young D to get through it and find a way to get a win."

Here are some impressive statistics from the game:

 

Shots

Rangers: 49

Capitals: 46

 

Hits

Rangers: 46

Capitals: 59 

 

Blocked Shots

Rangers: 41

Capitals: 40

 

Stars of the Game

1. Henrik Lundqvist made 45 saves to backstop the Rangers to a pivotal Game 3 win. Lundqvist came up huge on multiple odd-man rushes and Capitals power plays throughout the game.

2. Braden Holtby played phenomenal for the Capitals and made clutch saves throughout the night. He was a key reason why the Capitals held on during the Rangers' late power-play chances.

3) Marian Gaborik scored the game winner and also assisted on Ryan Callahan's power-play goal during regulation.

For the full box score, check out NHL.com.

 

The Rangers and Capitals will now have two days off and they will reconvene for Game 4 in Washington on Saturday. This win marks the fourth-longest game in Rangers history and their first overtime win since 2008. 

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