Following his team’s 4-3 loss in Game 6, Washington captain Alex Ovechkin made a bold prediction guaranteeing a Caps Game 7 win. Held without a point by the Rangers for the fourth straight game in the second round series, Ovechkin put out some bulletin board material in the Washington locker room.
“We’re going to come back and win the series,” Ovechkin told CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. “Play our best,” the Caps’ captain continued on what they’ll have to do on Wednesday. “Give everything. And we’re going to do it.”
The most damning quote contains an Ovechkin observation on the Rangers. Very candid for the Great 8 who has to be frustrated. After Evegeny Kuznetsov and Joel Ward cut the Rangers’ lead down to 4-3, he had the best chance on a mini-break but was denied by Henrik Lundqvist, who got a piece of a dangerous Ovechkin chance with his glove.
“We have to play that way,” Ovechkin said referencing the physical style they used to get back in Game 6. “You can see they don’t want to play that game. We knew that. As soon as we put the puck deep and hit their D they fade because we’re big and strong. You see how we score goals. We put bodies in front of Lundqvist and it goes in.”
Interesting stuff from a player who is 3-5 for his career in Game 7’s. Ovechkin has never been past the second round. Basically, he called the Rangers soft. While they did struggle defensively to hold on, they have taken the Caps’ punishment which included a huge Ovechkin hit from the side on Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. He turned into it and missed a couple of shifts but returned for a critical penalty kill and was on at the end.
No question the Caps are bigger and more physical. In their Game 2 and Game 6 losses, they imposed their will. However, Lundqvist and Company stood up to the challenge. With two days off before Wednesday’s do or die Game 7 at 7:30 PM, it should be quite interesting.