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Goal breakdown: Ribiero puts Rangers on the brink

This was a tough one. The Rangers played a very good game again, but came up short in overtime for the second time this series. After giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead early, Brian Boyle undid his goodwill by taking a stupid penalty by slashing Mike Ribiero. Naturally, the Caps scored on the powerplay, and eventually won it in overtime. Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head again, but Braden Holtby was also equal to the task. Both made some great stops to keep the game tied. Now it’s do or die in New York on Mother’s Day. On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Caps 0

One step in the wrong direction, goal.

One step in the wrong direction, goal.

The Rangers had a good cycle on this shift, and when the puck worked itself to Dan Girardi at the point, he wrapped it behind the net. Brian Boyle was camped out in front, and was John Erksine’s man. Nicklas Backstrom went behind to get the puck –which is one of the options he had– but the problem was that Erksine also bit on the puck. When the puck got to Derick Brassard, Mike Green made the right play to go to him. But with Erksine biting, ever so slightly, on the puck behind the net, it left Boyle with a second in front alone. This is a bang-bang play, and Erksine’s slight missteps gave Brassard and Boyle all the time they needed. The green arrows represent the correct moves made by each player involved, the red arrow represents the misstep that Erksine took. It was a slight misstep, but in the NHL, it’s enough for a goal.

Caps 1, Rangers 1

Tough goal to prevent.

Tough goal to prevent.

After Boyle takes a stupid retaliatory penalty for whacking Mike Ribiero in the back of the leg, the Caps lethal powerplay went to work. After a nifty passing play between Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Joel Ward, the game was tied. The Caps set up in their 1-3-1, but with the puck on Backstrom’s stick on the half-boards and the Rangers in a diamond PK, the Caps shifted, and Johansson went to the near-side goal line, and Alex Ovechkin cheated in from his usual spot on the weak side face off dot. With Ovechkin cheating in, Ryan Callahan has to stay with him. With Ryan McDonagh on Backstrom and Girardi on Johansson, it is Derek Stepan’s job to tie up Ward in the middle. This was a bang-bang play, so you can make the argument that Stepan didn’t have time to react after Backstrom’s pass to Johansson. I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment –this happened very quickly and very few would have time to react and tie up Ward in the middle– but the fact is that Ward was Stepan’s responsibility in this situation.

Caps 2, Rangers 1

Bad bounce, bad positioning after blocking a shot.

Bad bounce, bad positioning after blocking a shot.

This goal was a combination of good luck and good positioning for the Caps. After John Moore blocks a Mike Green shot, he’s a bit hobbled, which allows Mike Ribiero to gain strong position on him in front of the net. From the picture, you can see he’s in front of Moore with his stick on the ice, waiting for the puck. That split second where Moore was in pain and unable to gain position allowed Ribiero to get to this spot. The luck factor was the shot from the point bouncing off Anton Stralman and directly to Ribiero, who had an empty net. Tough to fault anyone on this, hockey happens sometimes.

It’s win-or-go-home tomorrow at 4:30, as the series shifts back to The Garden with the Rangers trailing 3-2 in the series. The home team has held serve in the first five games this season, and there’s no reason to believe the Rangers will be unable to walk away with a win tomorrow. Many teams have lost Game Five and won the series.

12 Responses to “Goal breakdown: Ribiero puts Rangers on the brink”

  1. roadrider says:

    The Rangers played a “very good game”? Are you kidding me? They sleep walked through the second and third periods with only a handful of shots on goal and hardly any quality scoring chances. Their power play was abysmal (again) when even one goal would have let them take control of the game. Richards (again) killed them especially on the PP. Nash (hurt?) – a non factor except for a couple of shifts in overtime .

    Yeah, a bad luck bounce on the OT goal but what about the failure to clear the puck before that? I don’t know what the face-off stats were but it sure seemed like the Rangers failed to win most of the key ones.

    Yes, the Rangers can win this series – they should have won it already. But they’ve played the equivalent of 10 periods in DC and scored 2 – TWO! – goals. If they can’t get out of their lame, rope-a-dope, let’s try to win every game 1-0 style and if their big players don’t make big plays it won’t happen.

  2. Todd says:

    Talk about a lack of effort. Except for a handful of players, Brussard, Moore, etc, notice it is the new guys playing well, nobody else looked like they were playing playoff hockey.

    Richards and Del Zotto gotta go! Neither one of them should be on the PP!

  3. Blueshirt In Paris says:

    “The Rangers played a very good game again”

    Really? How so? Barely 2 lines were going. Beaten to loose pucks, overwhelmed down low. Very few scoring chances and penetration.

  4. Jerry says:

    They are horrible in there own zone it’s been that way all year.and Boyles bonehead penalty basically cost them the game.

  5. RangerGrl says:

    I don’t think we played badly, but 2 things killed us: faceoffs (disastrous night for everyone) and losing Clowe. (He is a forechecking monster and after he went down, our game lost a huge element.) Also, we have to be a lot better in clearing our zone. Too many weak clearing attempts that resulted in too many chances for them.

    Let’s get them on Mother’s Day!

  6. Dave says:

    Caps fan here. Thanks for the great analysis. So much better than the usual “that team wanted it more” crap.

  7. AJD says:

    On the Caps’ PP goal, it took a very slick sequence of passes to get the puck to Ward with enough time to shoot. On the next PP, they tried the same approach, but not quite as quick on the relays. The Rangers snuffed it out without a shot attempted. The Caps are going to need to work the puck around the horn a time or two to loosen things up, but they show no inclination to do it. Rags PK looks really good at the moment.

  8. hah says:

    Most people that can do math would argue otherwise.

  9. Evan says:

    Whoever has won special teams battle has won every single game. Power play has cost us all 3 games.

    And Torts inability to make adjustments to deal with their point play. He continues to tell our players to pack the box and their point men run riot on us. Completely ridiculous.

    7 of the capitals 12 goals have come from plays involving their point men. Whether it be shots leading to deflections, rebounds, or shots directly going in. Unacceptable how torts makes no adjustment for that.

    We are also just such an awful road team. When torts cant line match he starts riding 2 lines and we get crushed. 2 goals in 3 road games. I think we have lost 11 of our last 12 playoff games in washington. Ridiculous

  10. Bloomer says:

    I thought the Rangers puck support was very subpar this game. The Rangers were simply not skating well enough to win game 5. Were they out of gas? It look like they were. The lost of Clowe didn’t help, but Torts needs to use his bench more partially if his players are wearing down.

    Krieder would inject some speed and life into the Rangers and the home crowd seems to energize the team. I think the Rangers will be a different team on Sunday.

    • Seahorse says:

      torts is never going to run kreider enough to make him effective cause he doesnt trust him for some reason. but eventually you have to turn youre team lose and play to win rather than try not to lose it

      • Blueshirt In Paris says:

        “he doesnt trust him for some reason”

        I wonder why? Could it be because he didn’t do much of anything with the ice time he was given with the big club and most of his season in the AHL?