Skip to content

No repeat of last year: Capitals take out Rangers 3-1, win series 4-1

Apr 23, 2011, 6:20 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom AP

The Capitals headed into today’s Game 5 working with the mindset that last year’s playoff failure after being up 3-1 in the series didn’t mean anything and that they’d take a more relaxed approach to how they came out in today’s Game 5. Whatever their game plan was, it worked perfectly as the Capitals ousted the Rangers from the playoffs with a 3-1 win this afternoon to take their series four games to one.

Much like it has been all series long, it’s been the big names helping to lead the way for Washington. Mike Green got it all started in the first period with his power play goal. Even though Green didn’t end up sticking around for the whole game thanks to being struck in the head by a puck later in the first period, his goal helped set the tone for Washington.

In the second period it was Alex Ovechkin dazzling the fans at Verizon Center with a highlight-reel goal that brought the house down and gave the Caps a 2-0 lead.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

While the Rangers power play sputtered again today, they were never a real threat to the Capitals all game as the Caps were more physical, won most of the puck battles along the boards and got tremendous goaltending from Michal Neuvirth.

Neuvirth stopped 26 out of 27 shots allowing just a very late goal to Wojtek Wolski in the final 40 seconds of the game to spoil the shutout. Neuvirth’s effort today was outstanding and he looked cool all game long and most especially at moments when the Rangers gained some momentum circling the Caps net. Alexander Semin‘s late goal with just over three minutes to play to the short side past Henrik Lundqvist (24 saves) sealed the game up and sent the Caps faithful home happy and set to prepare for whoever the Caps may face in the second round.

For the Rangers it’s a disappointing finish but not all too surprising. New York had to expend so much effort and energy at the end of the season to get into the playoffs that you can’t exactly fault them for being out of gas and unable to keep up with an intense team like Washington. Not getting better performances from Marian Gaborik and being without Ryan Callahan were brutal blows to their offense. Henrik Lundqvist can really only do so much in New York without getting better help from his offense. Expect that to be addressed in some way in the offseason by GM Glen Sather.

The Capitals now look ahead to the second round of the playoffs and their next opponent could be any one of Buffalo, Montreal or Tampa Bay. If the Sabres knock off Philadelphia, the Caps will get to face Buffalo. That fate could be decided as soon as tomorrow afternoon as the Sabres lead Philadelphia 3-2 in their series and they’ll play Game 6 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Latest Posts
  1. Trotz will still cheer for Preds ‘like crazy’

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz AP

    He continued to follow their summer moves after he was fired.

  2. Lombardi brings Stanley Cup to Snoopy

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Dean Lombardi AP

    The late creator of Peanuts was a big hockey fan.

  3. Columnist: Schultz deal might complicate Avs’ talks with RFA Barrie

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    The Colorado defenseman is still a restricted free agent.

  4. Scioscia wants MLB to adopt NHL-inspired roster expansion rules

    Aug 31, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT

    Mike Scioscia AP

    “I think that would make it a little more equitable for match-ups.”

  5. Hextall: Advanced statistics small, but meaningful part of Kings’ success

    Aug 31, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    He served as an assistant general manager in Los Angeles before coming to Philadelphia.

  6. Gagner looking for fresh start in Arizona

    Aug 31, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Sam Gagner AP

    After matching a career-low in goals during the 2013-14 season, he’s hoping for big things with the Coyotes.

  7. Report: Devils sign Kelly

    Aug 31, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) NewJerseyDevils_logo-thumb-250x243-22093.gif for post 6122

    Add depth to blue line in Albany.

  8. Hayes sees opportunity with Rangers

    Aug 31, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    Hopes to play in the NHL in 2014-15.

  9. Bieksa confident changes have Canucks headed in right direction

    Aug 31, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Kevin Bieksa Getty Images

    After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, he believes they’ll be back in the postseason in 2014-15.

  10. Leafs’ Kadri aims for more goals in contract year

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    He’s emphasized a quick shot release the most.

  11. Sharks explain moving Burns back to the blueline

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven Getty Images

    GM Doug Wilson points out that he was acquired to be a “stud defenseman.”

  12. Looking to make the leap: Reid Boucher

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Stefan Matteau is in the conversation, too.

  13. Oilers’ Schultz admits it’s too early for Norris talk

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    His new deal earned more than a few critics.

  14. Boudreau doesn’t know how Ducks goalie situation will ‘shake out’

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    Frederik Andersen and John Gibson both have a shot at being No. 1.

  15. What if the Blue Jackets and Johansen don’t reach a deal?

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Ryan Johansen Getty Images

    The two sides are not budging in contract negotiations.

  16. Under Pressure: Cory Schneider

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    Cory Schneider AP

    Will try to guide the Devils back to the postseason after two straight seasons without playoff hockey in New Jersey.

  17. Binghamton Senators unveil new jerseys

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Will wear a different look in 2014-15.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (1810)
  2. M. Fleury (1731)
  3. D. Alfredsson (1717)
  4. C. Anderson (1635)
  5. J. Schultz (1294)
  1. J. Boychuk (1241)
  2. D. Setoguchi (1235)
  3. D. Krejci (1212)
  4. E. Staal (1169)
  5. J. Harding (1162)