- Two teams came from behind in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Saturday—the Capitals to extend their season and force a Game 6 vs. Pittsburgh and the Senators to take a 3-2 series lead vs. the Rangers.
Senators 5, Rangers 4 (OT) | Ottawa leads series 3-2
The Rangers were less than two minutes away from taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series over the Senators.
A lot can change can change in two minutes.
Derick Brassard provided the heroics with a game-tying goal with 1:26 to play in regulation, setting the stage for Kyle Turris, who buried the game-winning score just 6:28 into overtime to give the Senators a 5-4 win.
“At this time of year, you can never give up,” said Mark Stone, who scored Ottawa’s first goal of the afternoon. “You’ve got to find a way to get that goal. We did a lot of good things. I don’t think we have to change a whole lot.”
The Rangers, who had won the previous two games, continued their dominant play by taking an early 2-0 lead with goals from Jesper Fast and Nick Holden in the first five minutes. Ottawa went on to score the next three, however, with Stone kicking things off followed by Mike Hoffman and Tom Pyatt.
Ryan McDonagh and Jimmy Vesey answered the bell with back-to-back goals to put New York up 4-3 before Ottawa jumped into comeback mode.
In overtime, the Senators owned the puck as the Rangers were held without a single shot while Ottawa fired off six shots on Henrik Lundqvist before Turris finally snuck one between his five-hole.
Craig Anderson stopped 29 of the 33 shots he saw to earn the win.
The Rangers have now lost three times this postseason after giving up a goal after their opponent pulled their goalie.
"We found a way to lose some games here," said Rangers defenseman, Marc Staal.
Capitals 4, Penguins 2 | Pittsburgh leads series 3-2
A star returned Saturday night for Game 5 at the Verizon Center.
So did Sidney Crosby, who was back in the lineup after missing Game 4.
The aforementioned star was Alex Ovechkin, who had been held without a goal since Game 1 of the series. He finally found the back of the net, delivering the final blow for the Capitals in a 4-2 win over the Penguins. This coming on a night in which coach Barry Trotz opted to move the captain from the top line to the third.
“I talked to [Ovechkin] just saying we need to change it up,” said Trotz in his postgame news conference. “Top players make other people better and I said it’s no different than Phil Kessel being on [Pittsburgh’s] third line last year, that had a lot of impact for the Penguins. ... I was looking to just give us a little more depth scoring.”
Carl Hagelin struck first for Pittsburgh to give the Penguins an early 1-0 advantage. Phil Kessel put the Pens up 2-1 after Andre Burakovsky responded to Hagelin’s score. That would be it, though, for the visitors.
From that point on, it was all Washington.
Down 2-1 going into the final 20 minutes, Nicklas Backstrom evened the contest less than three minutes into the third. Evgeny Kuznetsov would light the lamp to give Washington its first lead of the evening, and Ovechkin delivered the dagger 27 seconds later.
Crosby picked up an assist in the loss while Conor Sheary, who also returned after missing the previous outing, played 14 minutes with one shot on net. Evgeni Malkin continued to produce for the Penguins, picking up an assist to extend his point streak to four games.
Before tonight, the Capitals had been on the losing end of six straight games since 2009 when trailing in the third period in an elimination game.
Tonight's Three Stars
3. Kyle Turris (OTT) There’s no denying the importance of Turris’s goal to give his side a 3-2 lead in the series. His overtime winner put the Senators one win away from the Eastern Conference finals. That’s pretty, pretty good.
2. Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS) His goal proved to be the game-winner as he broke the 2-2 deadlock with about 13 minutes to go. He was active all game, firing off three shots, and picked up four hits along the way.
1. Jimmy Vesey (NYR) The loss will diminish his effort a bit, but Vesey was brilliant for the Rangers as he picked up a goal and an assist. His score gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead and in the driver’s seat to retake the series lead.