The New York Rangers' dream season is quickly shifting into a nightmare.
After a surprisingly strong regular season, New York put together a magical postseason run to find itself in the Eastern Conference Final against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers then took a 2-0 lead and it looked like the magic would continue, but it looks like they've ran out of luck.
New York is on the brink of elimination after losing to Tampa Bay 3-1 in Thursday's Game 5 at Madison Square Garden to fall behind 3-2 in the series.
The Rangers held a 1-0 lead in the second period before the Lightning tied it in the same frame. Tampa Bay winger Ondrej Palat scored with 1:50 remaining in the third period to give his team the lead for good. Brandon Hagel capped the scoring less than a minute later with an empty-netter.
New York was never expected to reach this point in the playoffs in the first place, and the team's inexperience has become glaring. After the game, fans online couldn't help but point out the predictability of the Rangers' collapse, with some believing it always was just a matter of time.
The Rangers are a young team that is ahead of schedule. New York is built to be a title contender for years to come, but this year it is just overmatched against Tampa Bay.
It's hard to imagine that the Rangers will score the upset as the series moves back to Tampa Bay for Saturday's Game 6. The way both teams are playing, the Lightning have the clear edge. All signs point to New York waking up from its dream and facing the reality of preparing for next season.