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HomeSportsOvechkin's pain. Washington and the Rangers' last playoff series was heartbreaking!

Ovechkin’s pain. Washington and the Rangers’ last playoff series was heartbreaking!

Date: May 30, 2024 Time: 19:11:25

On the night of April 21, the overseas National Hockey League playoffs began. The first to enter the fray were the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders, as well as the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. Eight more teams will begin their series today, including the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. The confrontation with the Blueshirts in the NHL playoffs is one of the main stories in the career of the captain of the capital team, Alexander Ovechkin.

For the first time in the Russian forward’s era, the Capitals made the playoffs in 2008, where they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in a seven-game clash. A year later, Ovechkin won his first NHL Cup series, managing to overcome the barrier of the first round with his Washington team: the New York Rangers were beaten in a similar seven-game matchup. From that point until 2015, the two American teams grew terribly tired of each other.

Over a six-year span, the Capitals and Rangers managed to meet five times in the NHL playoffs. The first two episodes (2009, 2011) remained in the hands of the “capitalists”, the next three, in the hands of the “Blue Shirts” (2012, 2013, 2015). It is noteworthy that the Broadway Boys’ three victories were achieved in decisive matches. But their last playoff series became especially legendary and memorable: that same date nine years ago.

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In 2015, the Rangers were at the end of their previous formation. The Blueshirts still did not know that there was very little time left before the start of the famous perestroika and continued to fight for the Stanley Cup by inertia. The previous year, Alain Vigneault’s team was closer to its desired goal, but lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the decisive NHL playoff series. In 2015, Broadway Boys continued to set high goals. They completed the NHL regular season with great success and won the President’s Cup.

In the first round, the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1) in five games. Despite the result, the series turned out to be quite stubborn. A significant fact was that the “policemen” obtained the four victories with the same score: 2:1. Two of the four games were won outside of regulation time. In turn, Washington dedicated the maximum number of games to eliminating the New York Islanders from the fight for the Stanley Cup (4-3).

In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Rangers and Capitals advanced once again to meet in the playoffs. Naturally, the NHL regular season champion was considered the favorite of the confrontation, but everything began to develop in the most dramatic way from the first game at Madison Square Garden. The author of the first goal of the series was none other than Ovechkin, who scored the majority at the end of the first half. Five minutes before the end of regulation time, Jesper Fast restored the status quo, but the home team failed to reach extra time. Two (!) seconds before the final siren, a Joel Ward pass from Ovechkin gave Washington the victory.

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A day and a half later, the Rangers managed to tie the series score (3-2, 1-1), despite goals from Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. But after the series moved to the US capital, the Rangers attack died for a long time. In two away games, the “blues” only managed one accurate shot, suffering two consecutive defeats (0-1 and 1-2). During this period of the series, Andre Burakovsky was Washington’s soloist (an effective assist in the third game and a double in the fourth).

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The winner of the President’s Cup and best club of the regular season was one step away from finishing the season. To advance to the next round, the Rangers players needed the feat of three consecutive victories. At that time, the long-term history of the NHL counted only 27 cases in which a team managed to victoriously come back from a score of 0-3 or 1-3 in a series. One of these comebacks a year earlier was organized by the Rangers, who managed to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-3 in the same phase of the tournament.

In 2015, Broadway Boys needed to repeat the same trick. Meanwhile, not only fans of these two teams, but also hockey fans, but also representatives of the coaching staff of the Russian national team watched the end of the series with bated breath. You probably remember well one of the main May traditions: every year everyone looked at whether or not the Washington captain would come to the Russian national team for the World Cup.

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On May 9, 2015, Ovechkin was just two minutes away from giving a negative answer to this question. In game five of the East semifinals, Washington led by a slim lead, but just as Henrik Lundqvist was already running to switch to the sixth field hockey player, Derek Stepan followed with a subtle pass to a teammate in the zone. contrary. . Then, a lightning-fast shot by Chris Kreider from the service circle left Holtby helpless. The match went to extra time, where Ryan McDonagh gave the locals the victory.

The series returned to Washington, where Kreider’s double in the first half allowed the guests to take a two-goal lead. The next two periods became a constant chase by the capital’s team after the opponent who had taken the lead. Kuznetsov, who scored 2 (1+1) points, made a special effort, but the Rangers held out and returned the series to home 3:4, 3-3.

“We’re going to play our game and go home and play Montreal or Tampa (in the Eastern Conference finals). Today we almost managed to even the score. We intend to come back and win the series,” Ovechkin said after the Game 6 loss in an interview with the New York Post.

The fate of the confrontation was decided in the seventh match, the result of which was again determined by one goal. Ovechkin, doing everything possible to continue the fight for the Stanley Cup, opened the scoring at the beginning of the first half, but the Rangers fought back and again reached overtime, where Stepan brought the third consecutive victory to Vigneault’s team. The American forward’s goal is still considered one of the most memorable goals in the Blueshirts’ cup history.

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“It turned out to be a real battle. The result of the match was decided with a shot, a scoring opportunity. I think we played very well in extra time and created chances. However, a single episode can decide the outcome of the match and the series. It’s all over for us. “I wish my opponent good luck in future matches,” Ovechkin said of the Game 7 loss.

“The fact that Ovechkin’s promise was not fulfilled makes our victory even sweeter. This is the seventh game in the series. Both teams only think about winning. His words didn’t give Washington any advantage, but we just kept working and responded to his words with our own play. “The Rangers played very well throughout the game and deserved to win the series,” said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who recalled the Russian’s words when the score was 3-3.

The joy of the Rangers players

Photo: Kostas Lymperopoulos/Zuma/TASS

After winning three games in a row by one goal, the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup semifinals, where they lost to Tampa in another close seven-game series, while Ovechkin went to the World Cup in Prague. The decision to include Alexander in the world championship was officially announced by the then general director of the Russian national team, Andrei Safronov, five hours after Stepan’s goal! The hockey player arrived in the Czech capital in time for the semifinals with the American team. In it he scored one of the goals, but in the final he faced another big disappointment: 1:6 from the Canadian team.

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Three years later, Ovi still managed to reach the long-awaited Stanley Cup, but his path to the playoffs never crossed that of the Rangers until now. It’s been nine years since his previous episode. During this time, the composition of the American teams has changed radically: only Kreider continues to play for the “cops”, Ovechkin, Tom Wilson and John Carlson continue to play for the “capitalists”. The Blueshirts once again reach the playoffs as winners of the regular season and the Capitals once again look like outsiders in the series. Will the teams be able to write another brilliant page in the history of this great confrontation?

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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