The New York Rangers rediscovered their offense in a 4-3 Game 3 win over the Washington Capitals and they are back in the series because of it, but the work isn't done yet. They still trail the Capitals 2-1 in the series and if they lose on Wednesday night it may be their last game of the season at Madison Square Garden.
New York scored just one goal in the first two games of the series and looked doomed to an early playoff exit, but it turned when the series moved to MSG. They drew penalties, pinned the Capitals in and while they gave away one third period lead, when Derek Stepan scored with 6:25 remaining, they made it stick.
All the while, the Rangers have continued to get guys back from injury as the series has gone on. Brian Boyle and Marc Staal each returned earlier in the series and Ryane Clowe said that he expected to return for Game 4, giving them another piece as they try to get even.
But for all of the confidence Game 3 may have given the Rangers, this is still the same team that couldn't muster an offense in the first two games an they are still going up against Alexander Ovechkin and Co. Most importantly, they are still 2-1 down and playing catchup.
Can McDonagh keep the wraps on Ovechkin again?
Ryan McDonagh was the goat in Game 2 when his delay of game penalty gave the Capitals the overtime power play to score the winning goal, but he made up for it in Game 3. Charged with keeping Ovechkin under wraps, McDonagh did just that. He was on the ice for most of Ovechkin's 22 goalless minutes as the Rangers minimized the impact of the Capitals' star and if he can make things difficult for the Russian again, New York may head back to Washington D.C. all even at 2-2.
Will the Capitals stay out of the penalty box?
The Capitals' penalty kill was good in Game 3, killing off five of six Rangers power plays, but the six penalties were a major problem for Washington anyways. They spent much of the game killing penalties and looked tired towards the end of the game, possibly the result of so much time playing a man down. The Capitals will need their penalty kill to be good again, but they also need to make sure they call upon the penalty kill unit less than they did in Game 3.
Will this be the game that Lundqvist steals?
Going into any Rangers playoff series, there's a reasonable expectation that Henrik Lundqvist is going to steal one game for New York. He's too good not to and while he was good in Game 2 and Game 3, it wasn't his best. This could be the game where Lundqvist stands on his head and earns the Rangers a win no matter how well the Capitals play.