The New York Rangers vs. The Washington Capitals

Another Exciting Game 7 For History

All-star Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist in action

All-star Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist in action

Teddy Marantz, Sports Editor

Game 7: The Most Exciting Game in Sports

On Wednesday, May 13, the New York Rangers will take on the Washington Capitals in a game that will send the winner to the next round of what has already been a thrilling NHL playoffs.

In a league where you have to win a best of seven series, the Rangers were down 3-1 going into Game 5 last Friday night, meaning the Capitals could move on to the next round with a win.

However, with the threat of being eliminated from playoff contention, the Rangers rose up to the challenge of a possible comeback. The Rangers won Game 5 in overtime led by Captain Ryan McDonagh, who scored the winning goal.

So cutting the Capitals series lead down to one, the Rangers were able to carry the momentum into Sunday night when they once again faced Washington in D.C.; the Rangers once again came out on top, with a 4-3 victory.

Now the Rangers will come back to New York and get the opportunity to play the highly-anticipated Game 7 in front of their home crowd at Madison Square Garden.

As we prepare for Game 7, we look back at all of the most exhilarating “Game 7’s” throughout history – not just in hockey, but also in baseball and basketball.

A great start would be the 2004 American League Championship Series (ALCS). The Boston Red Sox faced off against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox dropped the first three games of the series to the Yanks. Then, the Red Sox shifted gears. Knowing they were down, they fought hard and took three straight from the Yankees. With the series tied at 3-3, the Red Sox went to New York and beat the Yanks in Game 7 to move on to the World Series. The Red Sox were led by soon-to-be-Yankee Johnny Damon. Damon hit two home runs in the game, one of which was a grand slam.

In basketball, a great example would be the 1998 eastern conference finals. The Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, took on the Indiana Pacers, both looking to advance to the finals. The Bulls would go on to win in Game 7, which eventually led to winning the NBA championship over the Utah Jazz. More importantly, this would end up being Michael Jordan’s 6th and final championship: a series in which he was awarded MVP.

As for hockey, there have been many huge comebacks and exciting Game 7’s throughout history. In that tradition, the Rangers and Capitals will battle it out on Wednesday night to decide which team’s championship hopes will remain alive.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin during warm-ups.
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin during warm-ups.

Historically, the Capitals have struggled in series where they held a 2-game lead at one point. A loss tomorrow would give them their 10th-ever lost series in which they held a 2-game lead. That’s tougher than it seems. Over the years in the NHL, 90 percent of teams who are winning 3-1 in a series go on to win said series.

The interesting part? The last time the Capitals managed to collapse in such fashion it was to… guess who? The New York Rangers, when they faced off in round 1 of the 2013 NHL playoffs.

For the Rangers, there is some good news. They have already won 5 straight Game 7’s, and are looking to make it 6 in a row, dating all the way back to 2012.

So with that, history looks to repeat itself on Wednesday night when the New York Rangers battle the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the eastern conference semifinals.

The game is at 7:30 on NBCSN. For those who choose to watch, you just might witness history.