The New York Rangers won Game 5 over the Washington Capitals in an absolute thriller on Monday night. After Brad Richards tied the game with seven seconds to play in regulation, Marc Staal came through with the game winner just over a minute and a half into overtime. The Rangers now hold a 3-2 lead in the second round series of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, putting them one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Staal took control of the puck just in front of the blue line off the faceoff, and fired a slap shot to the right side of the net past a well-screened Braden Holtby. The puck appeared to just barely glance off the skate of a Capitals defender.
The Rangers dominated everywhere except the scoreboard for most of the game. They outshot the Caps 38 to 18 through regulation and overtime, but still found themselves down 2-1 until late in the third period. The difference was Holtby, who repeatedly came through with big saves as he has throughout the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Rangers led 1-0 after the first period, scoring on a pretty shot by Anton Stralman from the far wide set of the net. The Caps came back with a Brooks Laich goal off a mishandled puck in the second period, and a powerplay goal by John Carlson in the third. Because of Holtby's play Washington was seemingly on its way to a pivotal win until Richards stuffed the pack past the young goaltender with the Rangers on a powerplay.
Henrik Lundqvist may have been overshadowed on the night, but he did have a few key stops among his 16 saves to keep the Rangers within striking range. New York will have a chance to close out the series Wednesday night when they head to Washington D.C. for Game 6.