Wow, wow, wow! What an incredible sports experience last night at the Verizon Center. It was easily one of the 10 best DC sports experiences I’ve witnessed.
Last night was Game 7 of the play-off round between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. The Caps were the 2 seed and heavily favored over the Rangers. But, they lost the first two games of the series and then faced a 3 – 1 deficit. Not many teams have come back from down 3 – 1 to win a best-of-7 series.
After a great pre-game b-day meal at Rosa Mexicano for our good friend, Rich, we (Rick, Jon, Rich and I) headed over to the madhouse at Verizon Center. It looked like 90% of the crowd was “rockin’ the red.”
The Caps came out playing tight and were down 1 – 0. In fact, they didn’t have a shot on goal during the first 12 minutes of the game. They did manage the tie the game 1 – 1 on a deflected shot, but after two periods, the game remained 1 – 1.
Many of the fans were at last year’s Game 7, where the Caps lost in OT to the Flyers. So, there was much nervousness in the air as the third period started. Halfway through the third period, we noted it wasn’t that loud in the arena — I’m sure it was because the fans were so nervous.
But, then with 5 minutes left, the future Hall-of-Famer, Sergei Federov blasted a shot past Lundquist, one of the best goalies in the world, to take a 2 – 1 lead. The arena erupted — it was incredibly loud. The Rangers tried to come back but they were stifled by the Caps D. The Caps had an amazing 14 – 1 shots on goal advantage in the final period.
I’m so happy for Ted Leonsis, Dick Patrick and their partners. They put so much time, money, energy and effort into building a world-class team. Now, it’s time for round 2 against the rivals from Pittsburgh. Ovie vs Syd the Kid. It doesn’t get much better!