Game 5 Preview: Capitals on Brink of Playoff Elimination Sunday Against Bruins

Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals return to Capital One Arena for Game 5 of the First Round in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington, and USA Network). The Capitals are on the brink of elimination after the Boston Bruins took a 4-1 win in Game 4 on Friday at TD Garden to lead 3-1 of the best-of-seven series.


Goal Leader: Forward Brad Marchand (3)

Assist Leader: Defenseman Charlie McAvoy (5)

Point Leader: McAvoy (5)

Goaltender: Tuukka Rask is likely to be in net for Boston. The 34-year-old made 20 saves in Friday’s victory. He holds a .930 save percentage and 1.99 goals-against average.

Essential Notes: The Bruins are looking to close out the first round with a win in D.C. that would move the team onto Round Two. Defenseman Kevan Miller will not play in Game 5 after spending the night in the hospital due to a hit from Capitals’ defenseman Dmitry Orlov in Game 4. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said the blueliner is “feeling a little bit better” and is back home. Jarred Tinordi or Urho Vaakanainen will draw in for Miller on Sunday.


Goal Leaders: Captain Alex Ovechkin (2), forward Garnet Hathaway (2), and center Nic Dowd (2)

Assist Leaders: Five players have picked up two assists each: Ovechkin, Orlov, forwards T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha, and defenseman John Carlson

Point Leader: Ovechkin (4)

Goaltender: Ilya Samsonov is likely to be in net for Washington. The 24-year-old made 33 saves in Friday’s loss. He holds a .913 save percentage and 2.96 goals-against average.

Essential Notes: The Capitals’ postseason run could be over if they fall to the Bruins on Sunday. Forward Tom Wilson said they are “focused on winning one game” and “not looking at the big picture right now.” Lineup changes could occur, but head coach Peter Laviolette did not elaborate. “There’s no room for the weak in playoffs,” Laviolette said, adding, “You’ve got to respond to everything.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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