Green’s gaffe opens door for Capitals’ loss to Rangers in Game 1 of playoffs

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

NEW YORK — A brutal change by Scott Hannan altered the course of the playoffs for the Washington Capitals a year ago. It led to a Tampa Bay Lightning overtime goal on the way to a sweep.

Mike Green’s brutal hesitation to get off the ice already cost them Game 1 at Madison Square Garden in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon. The Caps sure hope this change doesn’t portend the same bad things in this second-round series.

“Every game is a game of mistakes out there,” coach Dale Hunter said. “Just part of hockey.”

The Caps had the Rangers playing their style: low-scoring, tight-checking and the score tied up well into the third period.

Then Green and Roman Hamrlik got crossed up. Green started to shade toward the bench for a change as the Rangers carried the puck up the nice. The defenseman saw rookie Chris Kreider streaking down the right wing and tried to get back, as his 38-year-old partner tried desperately to get back into the play.

He couldn’t. Green was already late. Kreider got plenty of open ice and blasted a shot past Braden Holtby to ignite a nervous Garden crowd.

“Yeah, I was going to the bench and nobody jumped, so I had to go back and he had a step on [Hamrlik],” Green said. “He made a great shot from just over the blue line.”

Dennis Wideman was waiting on the top of the bench. Hunter explained that he thought the Capitals would keep the puck in the offensive zone and were safe to change. Not doing so meant a different direction of the play.

Hunter put some of the blame on Hamrlik getting caught up ice, and the veteran defenseman shouldered some of it himself.

“We kind of switched the sides; I end up on the right side and I was a little bit confused. My bad,” Hamrlik said. “I have to stay back and take the guy and he had lots of speed and just make a good play. That’s the mistakes that cost us, and we have to be better.”

At that point, New York pounced. Leaving Brad Richards wide open at the side of the net is usually a bad idea, and the star center took his time finding a hole to put one past Holtby, who allowed three goals on 14 shots.

“Obviously, I wasn’t real happy with [my game],” the young goaltender said. “It’s a tough game to stay into it, mentally-wise, and I didn’t do a good enough job.”

This was not Green’s finest performance. He couldn’t hit the net as Washington was desperately trying to put pucks on Henrik Lundqvist in the final minutes, and he was outmuscled badly by Artem Anisimov on the first goal of the game.

“Just got the net and it was either haul him down; [I] wasn’t able too and he just spun through it and I couldn’t see where it went from there,” Green said.

It went right under Holtby’s arm at 12:38 of the second. But Jason Chimera was able to net the equalizer with 3.5 seconds left in the second period.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama