Thursday, April 21, 2011, 10:34 a.m.
CAPITALS PAGE CAPITALS VIDEO
By Ryan OHalloran
NEW YORK Jason Chimera didnt know how to react.
He had just corralled a puck that went off his chest and put it in the back of the net nearly 13 minutes into double overtime Wednesday night to give the Capitals a stunning, 4-3, Game 4 victory over the New York Rangers.
As soon as he scored his third career playoff goal (and first in overtime), Chimera went out of body, sprinting up the rink, right knee sliding on the ice to accompany his pumping right fist.
It wasnt until the neutral zone that captain Alex Ovechkin caught up to Chimera to start the celebration of the Capitals going up 3-1 in the series.
I dont know what I did. I blanked out for a while, Chimera said. I was just pumped up. You cant describe the emotion that comes over you.
The play started as a 2-on-2, with Chimera receiving a pass from Marcus Johansson as he entered the Rangers zone. His first shot was blocked by Bryan McCabe. As the puck trickled to goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers winger Marian Gaborik tried to chip it out of harms way. Instead, it flipped into the air, off Chimera and down to his skates.
It just sat right there, he said. It was a lucky break.
The bizarre goal continued a bizarre series for Chimera.
He scored the first goal in the 2-0 Game 2 win, but was limited to less than 10 minutes of ice time in Game 3 because of the Capitals penalty problems.
To start Game 4, Chimera was elevated to the top line with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, but by the overtime was on an energy-type line with Johansson and Eric Fehr.
Entering the third period, Chimera said his mind-set was, Just make a difference. You want to be the guy to make a difference. We got scored on twice in a row in the second period, and that shouldnt happen. You want to be the guy that wins it for your team.
Johansson didnt get the winner, but his first two playoff goals helped force overtime. He has definitely been the Capitals best Swedish center (over Backstrom) in this series.
Johansson tipped in Brooks Laich's centering feed to make it 3-2 and then tied it up when John Carlsons blast from the left point went in off Johanssons body.
While acknowledging his goals, Johansson said: The best thing is that we won.
Chimera said: I say it every day, but he gets better every day. Hes maturing well.
Contact OHalloran at email@example.com.