At 12:14 a.m. on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning, most of us should be sleeping. Yet, the Washington Capitals were still playing hockey.
The Caps and New York Rangers were mired in a tight game that still had not been decided after two overtimes. With less than five minutes remaining in the third overtime, as Wednesday bled into Thursday and faces bled onto jerseys, after Metro had extended its service for an extra hour, the Rangers finally put the game to bed in a 2-1 triple-overtime classic.
The longest game in Verizon Center history and third-longest in franchise history (it was the Rangers' longest game in 73 years) only saw three goals scored (two on Wednesday, one on Thursday), but it never lacked for excitement has both Washington and New York traded missed opportunities.
"We had our chances," Matt Hendricks said. "We had some really good opportunities, a couple of posts. We just didn’t find the back of the net and they got the last bounce, so it's what we expected against the Rangers. We expected a tight-checking hockey. They had a power-play goal tonight, too. We didn't have one, so that was the difference."
Marian Gaborik's goal was like a shot of espresso, instantly bringing the Rangers to life as they spilled off the bench in celebration. Meanwhile, delirious Caps fans trudged towards the exits, dragging their feet in disappointment and exhaustion. Yet, while the game ended at 12:14, the clock has not struck midnight on Washington's Stanley Cup aspirations.
“It’s a loss," Braden Holtby said. "It’s no different than any other one. A hard fought battle. We will be ready for the next game."