As the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers entered Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the Caps had the opportunity to achieve something they were not able to do in the first five postseason series of head coach Bruce Boudreau's tenure in D.C. Since Boudreau became head coach in November 2008, Washington had never won a playoff series in less than the maximum seven games. But a higlight-reel goal and an assist from captain Alex Ovechkin coupled with 26 saves from rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth gave the Capitals a 3-1 win to wrap up the series.
Washington was the more agressive team in Game 5 and despite Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist's best efforts, the Caps emerged victorious. A 3-0 Capitals lead late in the third period proved to be too much for the Blueshirts as Washington avenged its 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series loss to the Montreal Canadiens in which they surrendered a 3-1 series lead.