(The Sports Xchange) - Joel Ward scored with 1.3 seconds left to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game One of their Eastern Conference semi-final series at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Alex Ovechkin scored the opener and set up the winner when he centered the puck from behind the net to Ward, who beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist along the ice.
Ward’s goal was the second-latest winner in NHL playoff history. Jussi Jokinen scored with 0.2 seconds left for the Carolina Hurricanes against New Jersey Devils in 2009.
It was the second big play of the game by Ovechkin, who scored late in the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead that held until the final five minutes when New York fourth-line winger Jesper Fast equalized.
Ovechkin’s goal came when he unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle that beat Lundqvist, who was screened on the shot, high to the stick side.
The puck was out of the net so quickly some fans were not sure it was a goal.
Ovechkin nearly made it 2-0 early in the second when his wrist shot whistled past Lundqvist but the puck rang off the crossbar.
Despite playing a key role in the winning goal, Ovechkin said he did not see it go in.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Ovechkin said. “I didn’t see what happened there on the puck. Obviously, you see them celebrating, so (I knew) it went in the net.”
Compiled by Andrew Both; Editing by Peter Rutherford