The New York Rangers have found themselves on the brink of elimination after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss in Game 4 in their series against the Washington Capitals. From a game where the Rangers seemed to dictate most of the play, turnovers is what once again, led to their downfall.
After dominating the first period and heavily outshooting Washington, the Rangers just could not seem to figure out Holtby and left the ice tied with both teams tallying a goal. In the second period, the Rangers finally put one past Holtby with Brassard going top shelf in close off a beautiful pass from Martin St. Louis. Things were looking up for the Blueshirts until Chris Kreider failed to clear the puck up the boards and out of the zone and the Capitals’ Andre Burakovsky left the defense standing still as he blew one past Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game.
Then just twenty four seconds into the third period, Rangers’ captain Ryan McDonagh made a lackadaisical play with the puck, which resulted in a turnover and Burakovsky had a breakaway and beat Lundqvist for his second goal of the game, the eventual game winner.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped twenty seven of the twenty nine shots on goal while Braden Holtby continues to have a fantastic playoff run, stopped twenty nine of thirty shots he faced. His biggest coming 8:01 into the third period where he stopped Carl Hagelin on a penalty shot, preserving their 2-1 lead. On top of his team blocking shots in front of him, the Rangers have had a difficult time getting pucks to him.
Now, with Game 5 on Friday at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have their backs against the wall. They will try to keep their season alive in New York and push back. They will need to play desperate hockey and solve the puzzle that is Holtby in order to win. The President’s Trophy winning team will need to bring more than their “A” game on Friday. Nobody wants to see their history making season end on a sour note, especially this early.