In a result that should really surprise no one, the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will be playing a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in four seasons on Wednesday. This has been a tight, tremendously entertaining series -- each game has been decided by one goal -- and if you've seen all the games, they're exactly alike. It's battles in front of the net, goaltending, who can get their power play going that night and who can make fewer mistakes. These games haven't been track meets and the play has been so close and physically tight that avoiding mistakes has been imperative.
If you look at Game 6, Washington gave up two goals in the opening two minutes of a period and one goal in the last minute. That's a cardinal sin. You just can't do that. Troy Brouwer took a bad penalty. You can't do that in a series like this. The Capitals lost a draw cleanly in the last 10 seconds of a period. You can't do that either. You've got to tie that up. On Sunday, Washington was guilty of some glaring mistakes. When the Capitals have won in this series, the Rangers have been the team making mistakes.
Those little things on the margins are where Game 7 will be decided. It will be battles along the walls, battles in front of the net and low scoring. I expect to see a carbon copy of the first six games.