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?
- Bishop bounced back in Game 5, but did the Rangers test him enough? 3
- Surging Stamkos: Lightning put Rangers on the brink 15
- Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’ 11
- WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ 40
- Video: ‘It’s not the ideal situation,’ says OT hero Vermette of being a healthy scratch 5
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks 60
- Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead 9
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4 0
- Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’ 25
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)