Breaking down the goals from ECSF Game 5

May 8, 2012, by

Well another game in the books in this series, and another thriller. It wasn’t triple overtime, but this game had everything. The Rangers dominated from start to finish, but found themselves down 2-1 with less than ten seconds left in the game. Then the magic happened. Brad Richards scored on a powerplay. Marc Staal scored on the same extended powerplay. The Rangers prevented Braden Holtby from stealing the game, courtesy of Joel Ward.

1-0 Rangers
The Rangers got this started with a dump in and some great board work.  The puck wound up on Staal’s stick, who moved the puck to Anton Stralman. Stralman had some room to work with, so he took the puck in, and moved around one Cap player –I think it was Matt Hendricks– before firing a bad angle shot on net. The shot went through Dennis Wideman’s legs, who appeared to screen Braden Holtby, and then through Holtby’s legs. This was a bad goal by Holtby, and one he wishes he had back.

1-1 Caps tie it up
This goal was just some bad luck and some lack of keeping your head on a swivel. After a face off was controlled by the Caps, Alex Ovechkin threw the puck toward the middle. It bounced awkwardly off Brian Boyle’s stick and right to Brooks Laich. Artem Anisimov did not realize Laich was behind him in the slot, and got caught watching the puck. His dive was futile, and Laich buried it. Of course, Henrik Lundqvist couldn’t see it and guessed wrong as well. That always helps.

2-1 Caps powerplay gives them a lead
The play began with Ryan Callahan breaking his stick. This essentially makes it a 5 on 3 advantage for the Caps. After some good puck movement and board work by the Caps, John Carlson winds up with the puck. Naturally, Carlson is Cally’s man, and he uses the opportunity to rip a shot. Hank may have been slightly screened by Dan Girardi, but the shot hits his glove and goes in. This is the second game in a row that has happened. It’s tough to blame him, but when it happens twice in a row…

2-2 Rangers tie it up dramatically
This goal was Chris Drury-esque. It was Zalari Zalapski-esque. It was the Rangers winning a face off with a 6-4 advantage –following a double minor on Joel Ward for high sticking Carl Hagelin– with Hank pulled. Michael Del Zotto, who had a rough game, gets a shot on net low and hard. That is textbook hockey. Cally goes for the rebound but can’t stuff it in. Holtby is caught out challenging the rebound, as he should be. This goal shows how hockey is a game of fractions of seconds. Richards got his rebound shot off a split second before Holtby covers the puck, and gets it through Carlson’s left arm a split second before he closes it. Banks off the post and in. Bedlam ensues.

3-2 Rangers win in overtime
For about four months we had all been questioning why John Mitchell was on the powerplay. Today we know why. Mitchell won a face off to Staal, who walked the puck to the middle for better angle and ripped another low and hard shot. This time around, the shot was tipped by Laich. Thanks to some timely screens by Anisimov and Derek Stepan, the puck found its way to the back of the net. Lost from this is the fact that on the face off Staal was on the right side. Staal, a left handed shot, usually plays on the left side. He and Stralman switched sides for the draw. It made all the difference.

This has been one fantastic series. Game Six is Wednesday. The Rangers have a chance to close it out.

Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Playoffs


  1. ranger17 says:

    Do you beleive in miracles

  2. Matt J says:

    Don’t me to be a douche but I believe it’s Zarley Zalapski.

    How Richards shot got through is a miracle in it of itself. Trying to explain how it got through is like trying to explain the Magic Bullet Theory.

    • JB says:

      Youre right, miracle is the most accurate explanation… I’ve seen it at least 10 times now and its just not possible. The poke, speed, curve, flip… somethings not right. Is there a hockey god?

      • Rickyrants13 says:

        How bout the fact that it came up off the ice on a poke. And from under a goalie and a player as well. Strange very strange…

        • Chris F says:

          That was not a poke folks.

          Richards got good wood on it, and he was able to lift it up a bit.

          The timing of beating Holtby to the puck, and then to have it go under Calrson’s arm, and then off the post though was pretty magical…

          • JB says:

            What, you dont think it was a miracle? a divine intervention? An “extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause”?

            • Chris F says:

              No, I’m saying it wasn’t a poke. Richards didn’t just blindly hack away at it. He actually took a shot.

              But, with that said, the fact that he beat Holbty’s glove to the puck, tucked it under Carlson’s arm, rang it off the post and into the back of the net was indeed pretty magical, if not miraculous.

              • JB says:

                Well no one said it was a blind hack. But lets just split the difference… a poke-shot. A miraculously magical one at that

              • Chris F says:

                A poke is a poke. A shot is a shot.

                I still dispute the notion that Richard’s being able to lift the puck was somehow miraculous. He lifted it because he actually took a shot.

                What happened after that is what’s so miraculous.

              • JB says:

                A poke is a poke and a shot is a shot and then you have poke-shot right in between.

  3. Walt says:

    Richards scores with 6.6 seconds left in the game. Is he earning his keep, damn right he is!!!!

    Staal scores in OT. After the season he had, coming back from a concussion, getting his game back slowly, and the fans on his case, that goal was just great for the kid. His defensive game is improving day, by day, what more can we ask for.

    There is something special going on here, and I’m loving it. Blame this on Dubinsky!!!!!

  4. Chuck A. says:

    In the “how could this happen?” department, don’t forget, too, that Richards’ miracle shot hit the right goalpost before finding the net.
    The will to win on this team is amazing. Lost in all of this is Callahan’s super-human effort over the last several minutes of the game – he set the pace, IMHO.

  5. Matt says:

    On the Richards goal, was anyone else thinking about the movie the Mighty Ducks?

    3 inches one was and it’s in, 3 inches the other way, and it’s a complete miss.

    • becky says:

      It was more like 3cm in this case…. Richie has earned his salary and more this post season

  6. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Carl Hagelin was flying speed kills.Top line worked hard all nite.Lundqvist keeps Rangers in it with save on Backstroms breakaway.Mitchell taking a face-off in the last seconds of a pp no problem,on the pp with 1min.30 left we can do better with that said great win JMitchell.PP must continue to produce on to D.C..

  7. Steve D says:

    I still have a hoarse voice just from screaming at the top of my lungs at the end of the third period! What a goal, what a game! Staal just put the icing on the cake, he is playing the best of his year right now.

    Did anyone notice that OV was avoiding hits last night? I think someone got to him early in the game, but I have no idea.