Joe Beninati: Game 5 Blog

Joe Beninati: Game 5 Blog
April 23, 2011, 8:19 pm
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Saturday, April 23, 2011 4:16 p.m.
By Joe BeninatiCSNwashington.com

3RD PERIOD

Not seeing Jason Arnott at the outset of 3rd period; Johansson between Alex Semin and Marco Sturm. Lots of guys nursing different ailments at this time of year.

Six minutes into frame, Arnott hits the icepossible equipment skate problem kept him out?

Chances coming in bunches for Caps, dominating shifts in waves

Neuvirth answering every challenge; calm and cool and relishing his time in spotlight.

4:12 left in 3rd , UNLEASH THE FURY is incredibly loud..FINISH IT NOW signs all over the scoreboard

A beautiful 2-on-1 rush provides the insurance; Johansson saucer pass a foot-and-a-half off the ice to Semin who short-hops it past Lundqvist, wow that was nice!

BEDLAM inside Verizon, deafening roars

Most of the fans in lower bowl standing.We are louder!!

2:31 left fans singing GOOD-BYE to Rangers

Coach Tortorella pulls Lundqvist for 6th attacker, have to gamble now

Former Caps winger Tomas Fleischmann in attendance, fans give him huge ovation

Flash was dealt for Scott Hannan earlier this year, and upon leaving town wished that his former team would win it allclassy young man!

Neuvirth ridiculous glove save on Derek Stepan, fans delirious

CAN YOU HEAR US ringing all the way back to New York ears

Wolski ruins Neuvirth shutout with 32 seconds left.

Erskine rumbling with Fedotenko, gets jumped by McCabe, Avery and Hendricks spar quickly.

Handshake line, a sign of sportsmanship, hats off to the Rangers who gave the Caps a physical battle, but the top seeded Caps had too much for them. A lesson learned from last year indeed, WELL DONE!

Finishing this in five provides much-needed time for rest and healing.

2ND PERIOD

Green did not return to the ice for start of 2nd period, he is being evaluated in the Caps dressing room, his return has been listed as questionable by Caps Media relations. Normally not a great sign, but lets hope.

Pace of play much slower in first five minutes of this period. Two teams grinding it out.

Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon, and Matt Bradley sure do play the game hard and soften up the opponent.

Alex Ovechkin attacking down his strong side, wheels by Staal, then shifts puck quickly to his backhand to beat Lundqvist, a pretty goal by the Great 8 to beat two All-Stars off the rush. 2-0 Caps. With Mike Knuble out and Laich working on the leftwing side, OV has been challenging off right wing boards quite a bit.

We are Louder chant is catching on again.

Bradley sent off for hooking; important penalty kill here, cant give Rangers hope.

Green returns to bench with about 10 minutes to go in the period. COULD BE A GREAT SIGN. He has not taken a shift in this period.

Gordon makes a nice defensive stop, playing puck away from goal-line with New York threatening.

Karl Alzner with a good box-out on dangerous Marian Gaborik late in power play.

Scott Hannan playing very steady, solid shot-blocker, and an excellent communicator on ice, always directing traffic in the slot.

Erskine just a hair early on a hit to Prust, puck wasnt on wingers tape yet, so interference call.

PK ensemble continues to be sturdy, one of the key ingredients in this series without a doubt.

2-0 lead after two, 20 minutes left to settle matters.

1ST PERIOD

The Verizon Center Game Operations Staff did a great job priming the audience with a Jason Takes Manhattan Rangers nightmare clip referring back to Chimeras Game 4 heroics in OT. This crowd is more than ready to celebrate.

Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust create a good scoring chance 10 seconds into the game.

John Erskine doesnt shoot often, but when he does he has a lot of power behind it.

Marcus Johanssons speed is tough for Bryan McCabe to contain. The Rangers veteran D is a warrior, but thats a difficult match-up. Mojo draws penalty.

Power-play converts, Mike Green stays with it after a brilliant save by Henrik Lunqvist. He caroms puck in off Ranger blocked-shot champ Dan Girardi. 1-0 Caps.

Goal celebration cut short Chris Drury and Girardi go after Brooks Laich who was crowding Lundqvist.

8 minutes into the game first chants of We are Louder come from Verizon Center packed house. All in response to Madison Square Garden faithful cheers back on Wednesday.

One power-play goal was nice, but two would have been nicer.

Caps with 8 of the games first 10 shots, a much better first 10 minutes in Game 5 this year compared to last springs miserable start against Montreal.

7 minutes left in first period, Girardi missing his shift with Marc Staal, Caps top line gets three good chances, Matt Gilroy takes Girardis spot. Girardi appears to injure right in hand in scrum after Caps goal.

Gilroy drills a slapshot off Mike Green that appears to catch him in the face. It was the right ear that was hit by a Brooks Orpik slapshot back in February, this one catches Mike on the left side of his head. Another terribly bad break for Mike who missed two months with a head injury.

The two-day break did wonders for Lundqvist who was badly dehydrated Wednesday night. Hes sharp.

90 seconds left when Girardi returns to be a watchdog with Staal against Ovechkin line.

Michal Neuvirth with good concentration on a late bid from Wojtek Wolski. Its tough to stay in the game when all the action is at the other end.

Caps outshoot Rangers 13-6, looking good, although you wish they bumped the lead up to two.