Washington Capitals overwhelm Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

NHL Playoff Predictions: May 8th

Braden Holtby stopped 16 to send the series back to Washington for the deciding game on Wednesday night.

The Penguins, who are 4-1 at home this postseason, share a mantra as they look to eliminate Washington in six games for the second spring in a row. "We have no time to waste right now". "I think there were some chances to be had there a few times and we just didn't execute". Obviously, [Monday] was the result that we wanted.

Not so fast, countered Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.

The Caps forced a Game 7 with a dominant 5-2 win in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals, well, that's the pinnacle of pinnacles. They're not just going to go away.

"Yeah, we had a good game [Monday]".

Hagelin and Kessel scored in the Penguins' Game 5 loss. With 53 goals and 147 points in 135 playoff games, this is the time of year when Malkin really shines.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are to the Washington Capitals a little what the Minnesota Wild are to the Colorado Avalanche, only on a higher stage. It was the most of any forward on Pittsburgh.

"You talk to the doctor", Crosby said Tuesday.

The Caps were also a force to be reckoned with when they were outnumbered Monday, killing off penalties easily and blocking pucks left and right as they swarmed a seemingly helpless Pens team. [Monday], we weren't able to do any of that. We just missed. Some nights you just don't execute as well.

So much can change so swiftly at this time of year. Game Five is in Washington on Saturday. The Pens don't want to go to Washington for a Game 7 after a 3-1 lead.

We have seen better hockey from Olli Maatta, Justin Schultz, and Brian Dumoulin.

The collision into the boards came one week after Crosby was concussed by a cross-check to the head by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen.

"All it's going to take is all we have", Trotz said Sunday.

But now that they have, we finally have ourselves a series.

Two NHL spotters monitor every game, usually.

"If the Capitals think they won an easy game Monday and because of that they'll win Game 7", he said, "I say, 'No'". Back to fundamental hockey with better puck movement out of the zone would be a good start. I really, really hope there's no reason to be playing video of this hit in 20 years.

Rickard Rakell scored midway through the second period for Anaheim.

The story of the series has been: Washington will outshoot, outhit and command play against Pittsburgh, but Marc-Andre Fleury will steal a win. The real issue with concussion recovery: It isn't whether he feels good skating or on the stationary bike today but how you feel an hour after or a day after or however long after. Since, they have completely grabbed the Stanley Cup playoffs and spun them like a top - scoring the last three goals of Game 5 and the first five of Game 6. But after the last two games, anything is possible. The franchise of course being Sidney Crosby, the captain, the Hart Trophy finalist, and all the rest. "I think a lot of guys on both sides have been in this situation".

And with Game 7 comes more pressure.

That wasn't an issue last May as the Penguins won a pair of elimination games in the conference finals to reach the Cup on the way to their fourth championship.

The Capitals appeared on the verge of another exit at the hands of the Penguins going into the third period of Game 5. "We're excited for that opportunity and that challenge".

"We're having fun now", Coach Barry Trotz said.

Fortunately, the Penguins are still the defending champions, and are one of the most resilient clubs in the league. And we still have our back against the wall.

"We had absolutely nothing to lose", Backstrom said. It's its own entity.