The New York Rangers entered Game 5 looking to stave off elimination and put the pressure back on the shoulders of the favorite Washington Capitals. In a season in which the Rangers have fought through adversity and overcome long odds multiple times, today it was just not their day as they fell 3-1. All season the team has put forth great efforts as a unit built on heart and not talent, but this one saw a team that looked broken and unable to mount any real fight to threaten the Capitals.
The effort was disappointing given how Game 4 ended and with the various proclamations for how ready the team would be to go today. They simply weren’t and the Capitals took advantage. If anything the result of this game should have been a lot worse than 3-1. Today was probably the most lopsided of all the games of the series. I would not dwell on today’s performance as it was not indicative of the team or the year as a whole. This team is made up of a group of fighters and gave their fans much to be proud of throughout the season. Losing is never easy to deal with, but the taste left as this season ends is much better than the last two years because of the hope for the future. The look to the future will start here tomorrow and last for the offseason as we look back at 2010-11 season and look forward to 2011-12 with everything that concerns the Rangers.
As for the game, the Capitals dominated the first other than the first shift in which the Rangers had chances to score but failed to finish. From that point on the period was played predominately in the New York zone and saw the Capitals outshoot them 13-6 and chances were even more lopsided than that. Mike Green the first goal of the game while on the power-play at 5:59 of the opening period. Green took an Alex Ovechkin pass and from a sharp angle scored by sliding it off Dan Girardi. Green’s play was likely going to slide through the crease, but Girardi in trying to dive back to protect the net had the puck go off his knees behind Lundqvist. The goal was the first in the first period of the series.
The Capitals made it 2-0 at the 7:04 mark of the second period when Ovechkin streaked down the right side of the ice and beat Lundqvist with a backhander. The play was a beauty by Ovechkin as he blew past Marc Staal and made no mistake on the finish.
Alexander Semin made it 3-0 Capitals with under four minutes to play and Wojtek Wolski would get a meaningless goal with just 31.5 seconds left to allow the Rangers to avoid the shutout.
- The disappointment of Marian Gaborik stands out as he failed to rise to the occasion of the big game yet again. The Rangers need to find out what this guy is made of and either fix whatever his problem was this year or look to move him because his personality did not fit the mold of the rest of this team this year.
- Dan Girardi played with tremendous guts today coming back from a severely dislocated finger in which he had to take a needle just to play in order to try and help the team