Entering this postseason, the Washington Capitals’ Jason Chimera had one goal in 15 postseason games. Through four playoff contests this year, though, the 31-year-old veteran winger has recorded a pair of tallies, including the double-overtime game-winner Wednesday night in what may become one of Washington’s most memorable postseason games.
Chimera, like the team as a whole, didn’t have the greatest start in the eventual 4-3 Capitals victory. He was on the ice for two New York tallies in the second period that came only seven seconds apart, and he hoped he would find a way to erase that damage.
“We don’t want to get scored on twice, and back-to-back, too. I was telling myself I wanted to make amends for it and I wanted to get back and get that goal,” Chimera said. “It was nice to get it back. It was kind of nice to make up for it.”
That was when the speedy Chimera was still skating as a member of Washington’s top line. After the second of those rapid Rangers goals, Coach Bruce Boudreau switched the lines and moved Chimera to the third group with rookie Marcus Johansson and recently-scratched Eric Fehr, and they would have the energy to power through and control the play in both overtime periods.
The Capitals recorded 18 shots on goal in overtime, with the members of that line accounting for six of them as Boudreau rolled lines throughout the extra time to try to preserve any extra jump.
“We were rolling 12 forwards and six defensemen,” Boudreau said. “When we shortened the bench in the third period. I told them, ‘In overtime, we’re rolling four lines so just go quick and keep doing what you’re doing and hopefully they’ll make a mistake.’ And they did.”
Midway through the second overtime, Chimera raced down the right wing and attempted a shot that was partially blocked by Rangers defenseman Bryan McCabe. The deflection sent a bouncing puck on bad ice toward Henrik Lundqvist, but before the all-star goaltender could make the save, Marian Gaborik poked the puck away, knocking it off Chimera’s chest.
“It felt like forever after it hit my chest and down to my stick,” said Chimera who was asked to describe what scoring an overtime game-winner in the Stanley Cup playoffs is like.
“It is up there in your life. I don’t know -- it is next to maybe getting married and having kids as the best thing that has happened to me,” Chimera said. “I should say besides getting married. It is nice. Kids are No. 1, but this is pretty up there. It’s awesome. There is no better feeling in the world. When you’re a hockey player, you want the game on your stick.”