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Blogging Live From The Verizon Center – Game 5

By Jake Russell | April 24th, 2009

Pre-Game:

– Tonight the Capitals face the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They have put themselves in a big hole being down 3-1. Tonight should be a good matchup considering the Caps play their best hockey when their backs are agains the wall.

It should be interesting to see how well they fare against Lundqvist tonight and if the Caps defense will show up and support Varlamov.

– Both teams are warming up now and the crowd is already getting into it.

– Caps fans: If you want to see what the Caps are really made of then tonight is the night to watch and find out. Wednesday night was tough to watch considering the team dominated the last two periods and still came up with their third one-goal loss.

With the trick bounce off of Erskine’s skate to put the Rangers up 1-0 to the multiple bounces off of the goalposts and crossbar, it will be interesting to see if the team can have any bounces go their way.

If Game 4 was any indication, then New York’s Sean Avery will certainly help the Capitals out if his mental mistakes continue to turn into flat out dump penalties.

The Caps certainly need to take advantage of the any power play oppurtunities that go their way tonight. They are 4-22 on Power Plays against the NHL’s best penalty killing unit.

– Rangers scratches: Sean Avery.

– Caps scratches: Chris Clark, Michael Nylander, and Jeff Schultz.

– Rangers starting Lineup:

6 Wade Redden
33 Michael Rozsival
29 Lauri Korpikoski
24 Ryan Callahan
17 Brandon Dubinsky
30 Henrik Lundqvist

Caps Starting Lineup:

3 Tom Poti
23 Milan Jurcina
21 Brooks Laich
10 Matt Bradley
39 David Steckel
40 Simeon Varlamov

1st Period:

– So far the Caps are going strong to the net and are trying to pressure Lundqvist the best they can.

– Caps are on their first power play with 18:42 left in the first. The penalty was on the Rangers Scott Gomez for slashing.

– So far 0-1 on Power Plays and 4-23 in the series. A goal in the last two minutes would have set the tone.

– Penalty on Washington’s Brian Pothier for tripping.

– 1-0 Caps – Matt Bradley with the goal. Assist goes to Boyd Gordon and Mike Green.

– The crowd is just flat out electric right now. The Caps seem to be motived by the near-elimination position they’re in right now.

– Pothier just laid his body out to block a shot.

– Another Power Play with 10:33 to go in the first for the Caps. Too many men on the ice for NY.

– 2-0 Caps Bradley again! Laich and Poti with the assist.

– The Caps are playing really good defense so far and are getting in between the puck and Varlamov every chance they get.

– Penalty on Caps #26 Shaone Morrison 13:14 into the first.

– Mike Green appeared to get goal #3 on the night but a penalty was called for high sticking.

– Varlamov continues to be outstanding and looks even better with the help he’s getting tonight. The Rangers have seldom been in the Caps zone all period.

– Shots on goal for the first period: Rangers 3 – Caps 6

1st period overview:

So far the Capitals have corrected what has been wrong with them throughout the series. They have helped out Varlamov on defense and have finally been getting pucks past Lundqvist. They have been very aggressive and the last two periods of Game 4 appear to be carrying over into tonight.

– For those who love Georgetown basketball, John Thompson III is in attendance.

2nd Period:

– So far both teams have been in each other’s zones in the first two minutes. Out to an even start to begin the second period.

– Based on first impressions this period, the Caps seem to have energy but nothing compared to the first period. This is the type of complacency that has cost them games in the past. The Rangers are starting to attack a little more. They were in attack mode on Wednesday and sealed a victory with that kind of play.

– 3-0 Caps! Alexander Semin! Right off of a face of that Backstrom won.

– The Caps are starting to make it a serie again. Relentless offsense and solid defense is the recipe they’ve need for a while now.

– The crowd is chanting “Lunndqvist! Lundqvist!” as loud as they can to get inside the Rangers goalie’s head.

-Following a great save by Varly, the crowd continues to chant “Lundqvist!”

– The crowd is starting to get into it like they were in the first period. I sense another goal coming on.

– The Caps reserves are playing real physical defense right now. Pushing their way through every Ranger who gets the puck.

– Penalty on Backstrom – 2 minutes for hooking.

– So far the Caps hold the advantage with 13 shots opposed to NY’s 8.

– 4-0 Caps – Ovechkin with some beautiful puck handling gets his second goal of the series. Ovechkin passed the puck between the defender’s legs, regained control, lost his balance and scored as he was falling down. This guy is a freak of nature. Wayne who?

– The crowd is chanting “MVP” as Ovechkin pleads with an official about a call.

2nd Period Overview:

The Caps continue to pressure give Lundqvist no time to breathe and play solid defense. It appears that it’s all Caps from here. They have done everything right so far. I don’t see them letting this one slip away. The 2nd period ended the way the team needed it to. Ovechkin amazed the crowd with his amazing highligh-reel goal so the crowd will keep them into it throughout the whole third period.

3rd Period:

– Rangers coach John Torterella is sending a message to his team. Lundqvist has been benched for Stephen Valiquette.

– So far the Caps have been safer passing the puck this game as opposed to the past few games. There appear to be less interceptions than usual when they’re moving down the ice.

– Just found a YouTube video of Ovechkin’s highlight goal for those who are interested (everybody!)

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– There is commotion on the Rangers bench. It appears a fan threw a drink over the glass onto Rangers coach John Tortorella. He then proceeded to turn around and try to reach a stick over the glass. The fan has been ejected.

– So far the game and night in general has been action packed. The total opposite of Saturdays contest. I sense at least one more goal by the Caps to close out Game 5 (Hey, I called one more in the second period, why not another in the third?).

– The Caps are continuing to pressure Valiquette with major traffic in front of the net and several close scoring chances.

– The announced crowd is 18,277. Another sell-out under the Caps belt.

– NY’s Dubinsky has been penalized 2 minutes for charging.

– The Caps, still up 4-0, continue to make a hard charge to score on Valiquette.

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