Rangers vs. Capitals Game 5 recap: Washington takes series lead after Ribeiro's winner

USA TODAY Sports

Mike Ribeiro scored in overtime to finish off the Rangers in Game 5.

Just when you started to think that Henrik Lundqvist was not going to be beaten on Friday, Mike Ribeiro sent him sprawling.

Ribeiro's overtime winner gave the Capitals a 2-1 win, igniting the home crowd and giving Washington a 3-2 series lead over the Rangers. Considering how well the Capitals had played, the win was well deserved.

Washington peppered Henrik Lundqvist all night long, throwing 35 pucks on net for him to try and stop. The attack continued in earnest in overtime, but he was up for the challenge. Nine out of 10 goalies would not have stopped this scoring chance.

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Unfortunately for New York, a failed clearing attempt led to a juicy rebound for Ribeiro, who cashed in.

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So what did we learn on Friday?

Which Braden Holtby will show up?

The good one. Admittedly, the Rangers were a bit listless offensively. Their attacks came in short spurts instead of sustained pressure. But Holtby stood them up, and was rather impressive after giving up a goal in the first minute of the game.

Will the Caps defense continue to struggle on the back end?

They played much better in their own zone on Friday. Washington was effective at limiting the Rangers' shots to the outside, especially on the penalty kill. The biggest factor in their success was neutralizing the Rangers' key players. Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Derek Stepan were all held without a point.

So... Alexander Ovechkin?

Damn, if the man didn't try to score. He was active all game long, and got a game-leading nine shots on net. Nine! And they were, for the most part, quality scoring chances. I think the criticism thrown his way has been a bit unfair, and he certainly showed up on Friday.

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