Say what you want about the Capitals penalty killers surrendering the game-tying and game-winning goals in Monday nights excruciating 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers that pushed them to the brink of playoff elimination.
If the Capitals hope to even the series at three wins apiece on Wednesday and force a Game 7 in New York on Saturday, theyll need to be far more disciplined with their sticks than they were in Game 5.
Two of the Rangers three goals came with Joel Ward in the penalty box for high-sticking Carl Hagelin in the chin during a faceoff battle. But it wasnt the only stick infraction for the Capitals.
In the first period, Roman Hamrlik was guilty of a careless high stick on Rangers center John Michell. In the second, Mike Green took a retaliatory slash on Dan Girardi after taking a hit behind the net.
And although the Caps penalty killers held the Rangers without a shot on their first three power plays, Wards late penalty eventually cost them. Of the five games in this series, three have been decided by power-play goals Alex Ovechkin, Green, Marc Staal.
What I learned from this series is its about competing and staying out of the box, Hamrlik said You see last night we take a bad penalty and it cost us. We have to stay out of the box.
Thats the most important thing. When were five-on-five we have a chance to beat them. We proved that.