Game five was a must win for the Rangers, as a 3-2 deficit going back to Philadelphia wouldn’t have been an enviable position. The Rangers came out of the gate with a passion that lacked in game four’s loss. It was imperative that they took an early lead, so they did.
Martin St. Louis made his way into the offensive zone, drawing multiple defenders multiple defenders, got close, he dished a beautiful pass to Marc Staal who was stationed just past the blue line. Staal then put a slap shot beyond the glove of Flyers’ goalie Steve Mason to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at the 11:53 mark of the first period.
With a little less than 12 minutes to go in the second period, Brad Richards pushed a rebound opportunity into the net to extend the Rangers lead to 2-0. Less than nine minutes later, the Rangers would add another. When a pass went off the stick of Flyers’ defenseman Hal Gill, Dominic Moore capitalized by beating Mason on a breakaway. It looked as if the Rangers were going to ease their way to a win, but trouble loomed.
As the period came to a close, Flyers’ forward Vincent Lecavalier took a shot that deflected off of Rangers’ defenseman Kevin Klein and found its way to the back of the New York net. The Rangers still had a nice 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
The score would remain the same until the final minute and a half of the third period when Claude Giroux scored his first goal of the series to cut the Rangers’ lead to one. That would be all for the Flyers as Rangers’ forward Brian Boyle put the game away with fifteen seconds remaining with an empty net goal.
Though there were some close calls, Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding, allowing only 2 goals on 26 Flyers shot attempts. He was much improved from game four.
The Rangers are one win away from moving on to face the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Columbus Blue Jackets series.