"We just kept trying to come at them," Staal said. "It wasn't a set play or anything off the draw. Just a good clean draw, and guys went to the net, and (Holtby) couldn't see it."
The Rangers mobbed each other at center ice as the crushed Capitals trudged toward the tunnel to their dressing room. Then, the New York players raised their sticks to the crowd as red, white and blue streamers cascaded from the rooftop.
The celebration, which culminated in fireworks as the three stars of the game were announced, seemed almost inevitable after Richards tied it. After no success with traditional 5-on-4 power plays, the Rangers made the most of their 6-on-4 edge as Lundqvist watched from the bench.
"You could tell when games are getting tighter, more important, he plays better," Lundqvist said of Richards. "I think he likes the intensity in games like that. It just shows what type of player he really is."
Michael Del Zotto took a shot that hit traffic in front to the right of Holtby. Ryan Callahan took two or three hard whacks at the loose puck, but couldn't get it forward. Richards jammed his stick into the maze of legs and poked the puck past Holtby just before he was able to cover it with his glove.
John Carlson, who had given the Capitals a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal in the third period, couldn't keep the puck out, either, after he got in behind Holtby as a last line of defense.
"You have to believe you can do it," Lundqvist said of the comeback. "It was tough for us to get in front and create real good scoring chances, but we were shooting a lot and had a lot of energy. We definitely deserved this win. We worked so hard."
New York defenseman Anton Stralman staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead during a dominant first period for New York, but Brooks Laich answered for the Capitals in the second.
Carlson then snapped the 1-1 tie 4:20 into the third with the goal that appeared to put the seventh-seeded Capitals on the brink of knocking out the top-seeded Rangers.
It would have marked the second straight game that Washington used a man-advantage goal from a defenseman to earn a victory, but instead the Rangers won their second of the series in overtime.
The Capitals, 0-5 in the playoffs when their opponent scores first, were fortunate to even be in position to win as they were outshot 38-18 overall by the Rangers.
"We have to put it behind us," Holtby said. "It's a tough loss, obviously. It's the way hockey goes sometimes."
Washington woke up a bit in the second period and got even, despite recording only six shots on Lundqvist. However, that was two more than the Capitals generated in the first.
The Rangers held a 26-10 edge in shots in the first 40 minutes, but had only a 1-1 tie to show for it heading into the tense third period.
The Capitals tied it in the second after gaining control of the puck following a faceoff in the Rangers' end. Ovechkin, who heard even more boos than usual from the Garden crowd, sent a pass from the side boards to the right of Lundqvist that bounced off Rangers forward Brian Boyle. The puck came right to Laich in the slot for a hard drive that beat Lundqvist inside the right post to make it 1-1 at 8:15.
Notes: Stralman scored his first two career NHL playoff goals — both on the power play — in the Rangers' first-round series win over Ottawa. ... Washington is 6-1 in the playoffs when it scores first. ... The Capitals are 3 for 16 on the power play in the series. ... The Rangers won Game 3 in triple overtime 2-1.
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