May 10, 2013, 10:47 PM EDT
The Washington Capitals struggled to beat Henrik Lundqvist on Friday night, but they finally solved him a second time to win Game 5 2-1 in OT, taking a 3-2 series lead against the New York Rangers in the process.
Let’s roll out the talking points.
- Fans and pundits love to lob unfair criticism on Alex Ovechkin. Hopefully Lundqvist is immune to such talk since he was a huge difference-maker (and usually is), but will that be the case? Can great play by the Swedish star stave off silly “choker” talk if the Rangers fall short in the playoffs once more?
- Mike Ribeiro hasn’t had a very productive series, but he scored the game-winner. How much would Washington miss him if he bolts via free agency? How much is he worth?
- Can the Capitals end this series in Game 6?
- If not, which team is more equipped for a Game 7 victory? Could every game of this games go to the home team?
- The Caps fired 13 shots on goal to the Rangers’ four in the third period. Was that a matter of fatigue or a squad hyped up by home-ice?
- Rick Nash seemed to struggle with cramps and inconsistent play. Is this evidence that he isn’t “ready” or “built” for the playoffs or merely a bump in the road?
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 11
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 14
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 33
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25