Just 6.6 seconds from going down to the Washington Capitals three games to two in their Eastern Conference semifinals series, the New York Rangers rose from the dead to force an overtime period, thanks to an ill-timed high-sticking penalty on Joel Ward, who went from hero to goat in two weeks.
From the New York Times:
Henrik Lundqvist had left his goal for a sixth attacker and was standing by the Rangers’ bench, glancing at the clock. There were 10 seconds left.
“I looked up and thought, ‘This is going to be tough,’ ” he said.
Moments later, the Garden exploded in joy.
With 6.6 seconds remaining, Brad Richards tied the score, 2-2, with a desperation goal, sending the game into overtime. The teams had barely caught their breath after an intermission when defenseman Marc Staal blasted a slap shot past two diving Capitals and goaltender Braden Holtby 1 minute 35 seconds into the extra session for a 3-2 victory that completed one of the most fantastic finishes in Rangers history.
Both goals came on the same power play, after Joel Ward was banished with a double minor for high-sticking Carl Hagelin with 22 seconds left in regulation.
The Stanley Cup playoffs at their best. That the Rangers won is just a bonus.