It doesn’t get more devastating than this.
After surrendering a first period goal, the Rangers fought hard in a brutal battle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Thursday night.
But with one second left (you read that right), Joel Ward jabbed a puck passed Henrik Lundqvist to steal a victory for Washington, 2-1.
The goal came on assists from Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and nearly didn’t happen if not for a last ditch effort.
The Caps got a power play goal from the best hockey player on the planet, Ovechkin (from John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby) with just over a minute to go in the first period to give Washington the momentum early, quieting a rowdy Madison Square Garden crowd.
A physical second period ensued, but neither team was able to find nylon after 40 minutes of play.
The equalizer came just in the nick of time, a Kevin Hayes pass set up a timely strike from Jesper Fast around the four-minute mark, his first career playoff goal.
But it didn’t matter once the lightning bolt struck in the World’s Most Famous Arena, setting the Rangers back 0-1 in the seven-game set.