by Patrick Hoffman on 04/17/11 at 09:38 PM ET
Simply put, this afternoon’s Game 3 was one that the New York Rangers absolutely had to have against the Washington Capitals.
Luckily, the Blueshirts were able to pull out a gutsy 3-2 victory thanks to a late goal by Brandon Dubinsky. It’s a goal that makes the series 2-1 instead of 3-0 and one that gives the Rangers a huge opportunity come Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to the Dubinsky goal, this seemed like another game that was destined for overtime. Mike Knuble knotted up the game at 2-2 on the power play when Marian Gaborik took a bad cross checking penalty.
This was a game where the Rangers were finally able to generate some scoring chances and get pucks through to Capitals’ netminder Michal Neuvirth. With that said, it seemed like most of the team’s good shots came during the many power play opportunities they were given, with only Erik Christensen able to cash in on one.
Other than the Christensen goal, the team’s power play was quite dreadful. They made more passes more than they shot the puck and had trouble getting into scoring position.
The team also got a good performance out of their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 23 saves on the afternoon. He gave the team every opportunity to win a hockey game and stopped the shots he should have stopped.
With that said, he was not the focal point this afternoon for the Blueshirts. The Rangers blocked a lot of shots and for the most part, kept the Capitals’ offense quiet.
For the Rangers’ the focus now shifts to Game 4. Win that one, and we got ourselves one heckuva series.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.