Throughout the playoffs we’ll boil down each Capitals game to the highlight-worthy moments on their quest for the Stanley Cup. Here's a look at the key moments from the Caps' 4-3 loss in Game 3.
Pivotal Moment: Though they gave up the early lead the Capitals stayed in this contest until the bitter end, never allowing the Rangers out of a one-goal reach. Down 4-3 with just under two minutes to play, Alex Ovechkin drew a key slashing penalty off Brad Richards to give his side the opportunity to tie things up for the third time on the night.
Braden Holtby quickly exited the ice to bring a sixth attacker on but the Caps could manage neither a single shot nor attempt on net in their first full minute with the two-man advantage. After regrouping a Rangers clear the Capitals' power play unit kicked into gear, but a wall of blue shirts around the crease thwarted their four attempts to get the puck through to the net. The Capitals came up short monday night, falling in New York 4-3.
Game Changer: Too. Many. Penalties. Although there seemed to have been a few questionable calls that went against them, the Caps found themselves on the penalty kill six times, or 30-percent of the first two periods. The penalties forced John Erskine, John Carlson and Karl Alzner to pick up the bulk of those hard 12 minutes, wearing the Caps defense down early.
The Rangers were able to cash their fourth opportunity in for their first power play goal of the postseason and grabbed the lead early in the second. Though the Caps' PK unit successfully defended off five of the Rangers' six chances, the heavy minutes took their toll in the third as New York scored twice with Erskine and Carlson on the ice both times.
Top Goal: With just two goals in the regular season, it's not often that Arron Asham is even up for a top goal candidate, but his quick and sneaky work on Monday night caught the tired Caps D and Holtby off guard.
Carlson chipped a loose puck out from behind his net and away from two converging blue shirts but as Joel Ward struggled to clear it, both Carlson and Jay Beagle drifted in to help out along the boards. The puck was then poked out to Derrick Brassard in the corner, bringing Erskine down on him and leaving Ashom wide open in front of the net as Carlson was too slow to get back. A quick pass and a quicker shot later and the Rangers were on top once again.
Top Save: This continues to be a tough call to make but the save of Game 3 goes to Henrik Lundqvist's stop on Mike Ribeiro just beyond the midway point of the tilt. The save thwarted a beautiful tic-tac-toe sequence between Marcus Johansson, Ovechkin and Ribeiro that bested three Rangers defensemen but could not get by a diving Lundqvist.
Moment of Torts
And finally, our favorite prickly pear still touchy, despite getting the win.