Capitals Overwhelm Penguins 5-2 To Force Game 7

Capitals Overwhelm Penguins 5-2 To Force Game 7

If the Capitals get that and it translates to a win, it earns them a winner-take-call Game 7 back in Washington on Wednesday.

There is momentum - the Washington Capitals are coming off of a 4-2 win Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins to remain alive in an Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series.

Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin got the Penguins on the board with two late goals, which came far too late for Pittsburgh to mount a comeback. The Penguins got Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary back last game from concussions, but it wasn't enough to end the series.

Down 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals extended their season with a 4-2 win over them on Saturday.

Trotz said he believes Fleury will continue to play well, and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had no issues with the veteran's showing in Game 5. We can't think about Game 7. For the first time, however, the Capitals were able to rattle Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5.

Yet when you watch the teams play against one another on the ice, and when you look at all of the underlying numbers (mostly the shots on goal and the shot attempts), it is clear that the Capitals have completely dictated the pace of the series and have been the better team. Crosby found rookie scoring sensation Guentzel on the 2-on-1 to ruin Braden Holtby's shutout bid.

It wasn't unlike most of the first four games of the series, when Washington would control play for long stretches only to have Pittsburgh expertly counterpunch on its way to a 3-1 series lead. There are areas we have addressed nearly daily, certainly game in and game out, where we know we can be better as a group and we work on that.

The best moments were the times they got the puck past Fleury, the 2009 Stanley Cup victor who was Matt Murray's backup on the Penguins' title run a year ago and is only starting because of the 23-year-old's injury. By then the Capitals already had a 1-0 lead on Oshie's shot from the right circle on the power play.

In the five games prior, Pittsburgh displayed a vexing habit of clogging up the space in front of the net and blocking shots. Defenseman Ron Hainsey went to boards to retrieve a loose puck in the Penguins end only to get checked by Burakovsky, who skated away with the puck and stuffed a shot past Fleury 6:36 into the second.

Yet instead of simply trying to protect its advantage, Washington kept pressing. "That's going to be a tough task but I think it's something we have the right guys and the right mentality right now to do that".

"We're still down", captain Alex Ovechkin said.

Defensemen Chad Ruhwedel and Mark Streit are the top candidates to replace Daley in the lineup.

Caps goal: John Carlson (power play) from Matt Niskanen and Evgeny Kuznetsov at 11:17 in the 3rd period. The Penguins were 0 for 3.

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