As the final minute ticked off the scoreboard clock Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat on the visitors' bench with his face covered by his glove.

After the series-ending 3-1 Game 5 loss to the Washington Capitals was over, Lundqvist still couldn't shake the feeling that the Eastern Conference quarterfinal could have been a lot different for the Rangers.

There weren't many scoring chances for the Blueshirts in the series - they scored only two goals in the three games at Verizon Center and eight goals in the series - and they were facing a deeper and more-skilled team, but they were in position to win Games 1 and 4 and couldn't finish off either one.

"When I look back at the series, when you face a team like Washington that's maybe a little bit better, a little more skilled, you will get some opportunities and you need to grab them and we didn't," said Lundqvist, who made 24 saves Saturday. "We had a couple of chances to get some wins in Game 1 or Game 4. We can't expect to win every night, but when you have that chance, that opportunity, you need to grab it and we didn't do it. It's not good enough."

The Rangers were less than seven minutes away from winning, 1-0, in Game 1 before Alex Ovechkin scored to tie it and force overtime. Alex Semin scored the winning goal in OT and the Capitals had a series lead they never relinquished.

The Rangers were on the verge of evening the series at two games apiece when they led, 3-0, after two periods in Wednesday's Game 4, but blew that advantage in the third and lost in double overtime, 4-3, on Jason Chimera's back-breaking goal after Marian Gaborik knocked away the puck from Lundqvist.

"I thought the most important thing of the series was in the first four games we had the lead in the third period [three times] and we only come away with one win," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.