I probably should have written this post yesterday, but I was too damn tired out from celebrating.
Yes! My Capitals won the seventh game of the series on Tuesday night, beating the New York Rangers 2 to 1.
The game was a real nailbiter, let me tell you. The Caps did not play well in the first period -- whether from nerves, caution, or just plain not playing well, it doesn't matter. The Rangers, however, abandoned their defensive game and stormed down the ice. Only our sweet, baby-faced, just-turned-21 goalie phenom kept us in the game.
Alas, the Rangers scored first. A cloud of gloom settled over the capacity crowd. After clawing our way out of a 3-1 hole, would we blow it?
But then, oh my God! Alexander Semin -- dear, dear Sasha -- scored toward the end of the first. It was our first shot on goal, too! One shot; one goal -- okay then! The Rangers held us to a grand total of 2 shots in the first -- abysmal for a shootin' team like the Caps.
I was nervous, very nervous. I had to go visit my niece and nephew to get a little shot of optimism.
We were slightly better in the second, especially at keeping the Rangers away from our net. The shot count got a little better, but the score didn't budge.
I don't know what Coach said to the team between the second and third periods, but it worked. The Caps came out and played like they believed they were already Stanley Cup Champions and made Henrik Lundqvist work for his money.
And then, five minutes befoe the end of regulation, Sergei Federov -- ancient at 39! -- struck like a snake and scored.
The arena exploded. I have never, ever, ever heard that much nuclear joy in my entire life. I was exploding right along with everyone else. It was crazytime in DC Hockeytown! We were all on our feet, screaming, cowbelling, clapping, making noise any way we could, from the time of the goal right through to the end of the game. It seemed to lift the team, too, because they did not allow the Rangers to even get out of their zone. They may have held us to 2 shots in the first, but we held them to 1 shot in the third.
When the game ended, the arena erupted again with the cheering and the high fives and the hey hey hey. The team surrounded Varly, because he really kept us in the game through the first and second periods.
Then, both teams gathered for the traditional handshake, while us fans just kept on clapping the cheering.
So now we move on to the second round of the playoffs, where we will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be a tough series, because they have the second best player in the league.
We, however, have the best.