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GAME CHANGER - April 24, 2009

Friday, 04.24.2009 / 7:53 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals
 
The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.

Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.

You can vote on the night's best Game Changer.  Cast your votes after the night's action.

Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!




NY Rangers at Washington - Game 5

With just one game on the playoff schedule tonight, we present three possible game-changers for you to think about.

1)  At 11:53 of the first period, Washington goaltender Simeon Varlamov made a big stop on an Aaron Voros shot from the right faceoff circle to preserve the Capitals' 1-0 lead, and the ensuing rush up the ice by the Caps saw Matt Bradley pot his second goal of the night on a hard-angle shot from the bottom of the right circle just 14 seconds later.

Varlamov's save to keep Washington in front and Bradley's subsequent tally permanently threw the momentum behind the Capitals, who staved off elimination with a win Friday night in Game 5.



2) After grabbing an early 2-0 lead in Game 5, the Capitals had to make sure they kept the Rangers from getting back into this game. 

With four minutes to go in the first period Brandon Dubinsky tried to get the Rangers on the scoreboard. Lauri Korpikoski carried the puck into the Washington zone and dropped the puck off for Dubinsky at the top of the circle. Dubinsky then patiently held onto the puck as he avoided John Erskine and floated down towards the net, where he was able to get Simeon Varlamov down on the ice. Dubinksy then tried to slip the puck in from behind the goal line but Varlamov reached back with his glove and robbed him of a goal. 

Simeon Varlamov went on to stop 20 Rangers shot and earn his second shutout of the series.




3) With the Capitals holding onto a 3-0 lead, Alex Ovechkin showed why he is still the most feared player in the NHL.

After a Rangers turnover in the Capitals zone, Ovechkin found the puck at their own blue line. He carried it up ice and danced around Chris Drury at the Rangers blue line and then dangled the puck through the legs of defenseman Derek Morris. Moments later Alexander "The Great" held off Aaron Voros while falling to the ice and managed to fire a shot past Henrik Lundqvist, pushing the Caps to a convincing 4-0 lead.

FINAL SCORE: Capitals 4, Rangers 0













Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers