Montreal Canadiens 2, Washington Capitals 1
Capitals lead series 3-2
This time, the Washington Capitals were confused while trying to pull Semyon Varlamov for an extra man and ended up taking the suddenly widespread penalty in the last minutes of a Game 5 they would go on to lose 2-1 against Montreal. Coach Bruce Boudreau’s face can often look like a mood ring when he gets angry; I’m thinking behind that irritation was at least a partial feeling of humiliation.
I’ve yet to see the Alex Ovechkin-era Capitals win a series with much ease; could it be that the team needs to be in tough spots or else they get bored and lose focus? To be fair, Jaroslav Halak had a nice 37 save performance, but I still expected a bit more out of a Capitals team that could have earned itself a nice early rest.
Buffalo Sabres 4, Boston Bruins 1
Bruins lead series 3-2
While Montreal almost seemed to “back in” to a sixth game in their series, Buffalo bludgeoned Boston in Game 5. Despite the fact that Ryan Miller was unable to get a shutout, the Sabres dominated most of the game and were rewarded with a commanding victory to stay alive in the series. I wrote earlier that Buffalo has the best chance of any team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit and I think this game showed that in a big way.