Rangers beat by clock, but not by Caps

April, 17, 2011
4/17/11
9:11
PM ET

Before Game 3, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella had lamented the lack of good fortune or good bounces his team had enjoyed through the first two games of their first-round series with the Washington Capitals.

Well, the Rangers showed they are anything but fragile in Game 3 when they were stripped of a Ruslan Fedotenko goal with time running out in the second period.

The Capitals had just tied the game 1-1 with a minute left in the second, but Fedotenko slid the puck toward the Caps goal, and it snuck in just inside the far post.

The officials on the ice ruled a goal, but the hockey operations folks at the war room in Toronto ruled the official time clock showed 0:00 when the puck had fully crossed the line.

Rangers fans were enraged, and one wondered if the Caps would use that against the Rangers in the third period. But it didn't happen.

The Rangers scored twice in the third to earn their first victory of the series.

"I thought it was across the line right before the buzzer went, but obviously they review and they said time was expired, so it was unfortunate," Fedotenko said.

It would have been nice to have that one going into the third, "but you know what, we regrouped and battled back and won the game, so that's important," Fedotenko said.

"It was a little bit frustrating, obviously," added defenseman Marc Staal, who drew an assist on a third-period goal by Vaclav Prospal.

"That would have been a big goal for us, but we were still in good shape. We came out and played a really good third period and stayed with it as best as we could."

Official breaks ankle

Speaking of the officials, the second period was delayed for a few minutes when referee Chris Rooney was injured after his skate got caught in the back of the net and had to be replaced by Frederick L'Ecuyer. NHL officials said Rooney suffered a very badly broken ankle.

Rangers win battles

The Rangers outshot the Capitals 35-25 overall and 27-18 in the final two periods and were credited with winning the hits battle 41-29. But don't look for the Capitals to change their philosophy between now and Wednesday.

"It's a 3-2 game where they get a goal in the last minute and a half. If we don't take the penalties -- all three games have been wars and battles. It is not a question of throwing different kind of strategy at them -- we know what they're going to do, and I don't think we're going to change overnight. I think it is a matter of who makes the mistakes and the other team capitalizes on them is usually what happens," head coach Bruce Boudreau said.

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