The Rangers created glorious chances as they tried to take a Game 5 lead, but Caps goalie Braden Holtby frustrated Martin St-Louis with two amazing saves.
The Rangers came out in Game 5 showing exactly the desperation they needed to, facing elimination against the Washington Capitals.
The problem, though, is that no matter how many chances they generated, Braden Holtby literally stood in the way. The Caps goalie continues to play the best hockey of his career and is the No. 1 reason for the Broadway Blueshirts’ offensive struggles. After the first frame of Game 5, the Rangers had one goal in their past seven periods against Holtby.
But what can they do when he’s making saves like this one on Martin St-Louis? Marty gives new meaning to “point blank range,” and Holby shows lightning-fast reflexes to whip his left leg across:
Holtby doesn’t top St-Louis on the doorstep. St-Louis is halfway through the door and still can’t score.
A period later, St-Louis gets another 10-bell scoring chance. Holtby finds a new way to frustrate the snake-bitten Rangers vet:
Wow. Flashing. Da. Leather. Corey Perry has been outstanding in these playoffs, and Tyler Johnson too, but Holtby has staked out just as strong of a claim to the Conn Smythe Trophy so far.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin