On Sunday it was Larouche who finished off the Capitals, scoring both Rangers goals, his seventh and eighth of the playoffs, in the 2-1 clincher that sent the Madison Square Garden faithful into happy hysteria. Vanbiesbrouck was superb, so frustrating the Washington shooters that on one occasion Capitals forward Alan Haworth broke in on him two on none and practically fanned on the puck, sliding it harmlessly into the goalie's pads. The Rangers' defense controlled the front of the net; the checking by the Rangers' forwards neutralized Washington's superior speed. And when everything else broke down, Vanbiesbrouck was there to save the day. The Capitals did not give away this game or the one before it. They were beaten.
"This is crazy, but it's great," said Larouche of the postseason Rangers. "Le petit miracle."
Over in the Capitals' dressing room, team captain Rod Langway dejectedly summed up the entire playoffs: "Well, it's a Cinderella year for a lot of teams."
It was an upsetting state to think about.