Game 5 started with a lot of fire. Derek Dorsett and Shawn Thornton fought to a draw. Both teams sustained prolonged attacks in each others' zones. It looked as if the New York Rangers had seized upon the momentum they gathered from Game 4.
To emphasize this, Dan Girardi scored on the power play at the halfway point. New York had a lead and a working power play. Everything seemed to be coming up Blueshirts.
Henrik Lundqvist asserted himself as well. With Milan Lucic controlling the puck in the high slot, The King floated out from his crease in a challenge and snagged the subsequent shot with style and flair, prompting a gasp from the Gardens faithful.
But if the Rangers owned the first period, the Boston Bruins claimed the second. Torey Krug caught Lundqvist playing too deep in the net and buried the equalizer. Not even five minutes had elapsed.
After that it was all Bruins. Boston began to absolutely assault New York in its zone. Lundqvist was peppered with shots. Blueshirts were tossed out of the way. It was like watching a huge fighter grab a much smaller man by the throat and punch him in the face over and over again.
Incredibly, Lundqvist would not bow down. He blocked shot after shot and made Boston fans sit down time and time again after they jumped up expecting the red light. It was akin to watching the hockey version of the movie 300. Could he possibly hold off the waves of Black and Gold?
No. Boston put the go ahead goal past Henrik at 13:31. Gregory Campbell and Boston's unrelenting fourth line made the difference. Lundqvist could not be blamed.
That was pretty much the game. Boston tightened up defensively and kept the Rangers from getting any real chances after that. After their scare against Toronto, the B's wanted no more chances for an opponent to get back into the series. Late in the third, Campbell added the topper, sprawling on the ice to pot an empty netter in the final seconds as insurance.
Lundqvist cannot be blamed. The Rangers still need to address their lack of scoring. But Lundqvist is still deservedly the King. He carried New York on his back throughout the season and into the playoffs.
Boston will advance to meet Pittsburgh. The Rangers will return to New York to address the exact same issues they did last season.