Capitals vs. Rangers Game 6 Recap: Henrik Lundqvist shutout forces Game 7

USA TODAY Sports

A series that has been close every night naturally requires a Game 7 to decide a winner.

Continuing a series marked by one-goal games, the New York Rangers forced Game 7 against the Washington Capitals with a 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon in Game 6.

With the victory at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers also continued the series pattern where the home team has won all six games.

After a scoreless first period, a goal by Derick Brassard midway through the second period was the difference in the game. His goal, originally credited to Rick Nash, actually deflected off of Capitals defenseman Steven Oleksy.

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That the only goal came off a teammate's deflection was only fitting for this goalie's duel, where Henrik Lundqvist earned a shutout with 27 saves and Braden Holtby stopped 28.

The Rangers' power play futility continued as they misfired on five opportunities, including a 44-second five-on-three opportunity late in the first period. The Capitals, much to their chagrin, received zero power-play opportunities.

At the final buzzer, the teams set the tone of tension and bad blood for Game 7 with an old-fashioned hockey line brawl.

The fracas began when Dan Girardi and Nicklas Backstrom exchanged shoves as the horn sounded. Team captains Alex Ovechkin and Ryan Callahan paired off. Mike Green entered a fray of bodies and ended up on his knees. John Carlson and Derek Stepan fought to an impressive wrestle-off.

It all made for entertaining ... well not quite hockey exactly, but hockey nonetheless. No doubt a release of steam for both teams which have been engaged in six closely fought games the past two weeks.

Things had been escalating throughout the third period, with several violent encounters. Here is Ovechkin taking out Girardi:

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And here is another big collision between Green and Derek Dorsett, which ended with Green crosschecking Brassard in the face:

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Crosscheck to the face, you say? Yes, yes that meant hockey blood:

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No rest for the combatants. Game 7 is Monday night.

For more on the series, visit: Japers' Rink Blueshirt Banter

Before the game, we considered three questions. Now we have answers, and a Game 7 to look forward to:

Will the trend of higher scoring games at Madison Square Garden in this series continue?

Not at all. There were a combined 14 goals scored in Games 3 and 4, but the true theme of this series continued in Game 6: excellent goaltending.

Can Braden Holtby outplay Henrik Lundqvist once on the road?

You could argue Holtby had the better game or was called on for better saves, having faced so many power plays. But the Oleksy deflection beat him and the Caps.

Will Rick Nash show up on the scoresheet before it's too late?

Heh, not on this night, though he was there for 10 minutes until the scorers rightly changed his goal to Brassard.

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