Instant analysis: Capitals-Rangers Game 5

Instant analysis: Capitals-Rangers Game 5
April 23, 2011, 11:07 pm
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Saturday, April 23, 2011, 7:07 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff WriterCSNwashington.com

A review of the Capitals 3-1 win over the New York Rangers Saturday to wrap up the teams Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in five games:

Why the Capitals won: Washington did what Vancouver and Pittsburgh couldnt do come out flying and finish off its opponent in the fifth game. The Canucks and Penguins were blown out by Chicago and Tampa Bay, respectively. The Capitals first 10 minutes was the difference they scored on the power play at the 5:59 mark and, through 30 minutes, the Rangers had only seven shots on goal.

The good: Goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped 26 of 27 shots to wrap up his first NHL playoff series victory and left no doubt hell be the guy in the second round. Alex Ovechkin was more active (which he needed to be) and had two points. Brooks Laich had two assists and played 20:55. With Mike Green limited to less than six minutes, the other defensemen had to play more, led by John Carlsons 26:31. Boyd Gordon went 12-3 on faceoffs. Ovechkin and Marco Sturm each had four shots on goal. Carlson led the Capitals with five blocked shots. The Rangers Marian Gaborik was again kept off the score sheet. The Capitals were more disciplined, committing only two minors aside from the three for roughing.

The bad: Not too much it was a five-game series victory, after all. The Capitals couldnt make it 2-0 in the first period when a power play was handed to them. Washington had 20 shots blocked by the Rangers.

Key moment: Leading 1-0 in the second period, the Capitals were one bad bounce from seeing the game tied. Ovechkin put an end to that when he received a pass from Scott Hannan and faked out Henrik Lundqvist for his third goal of the series.

Key stat: 1998. The last time the Capitals wrapped up a series in five games (beat Ottawa on their way to the Cup finals).

Capitals player of the game: Ovechkin. Neuvirth nearly pitched a second shutout, but Ovechkin played much better than at other points of the series, notching two points, four shots and three hits.

Quote: Right now, I feel pretty good, but its not over yet. Its just one step. Ovechkin.

Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.