Capitals overwhelm Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

Rachel Hardy
May 10, 2017

His expression was stoic, and yet it seemed to say so much. Anyone who watched Crosby go headfirst into the boards late in the first period of Game 6 against the Washington Capitals had a hard time understanding how the concussion spotters, both at the PPG Paints Arena and in the player safety room in NY, could not have immediately ordered him off the Penguins' bench and off the ice for further observation.

Pittsburgh's first shot in the opening 17 minutes was a 136-foot flip by Brian Dumoulin that made its way to Braden Holtby, who easily stopped it for the first of his 16 saves. Game 7 is on Wednesday night in Washington. And if they can knock off Pittsburgh, they would have a pretty good shot at winning it all.

Nicklas Backstrom, who'd assisted on Oshie's goal in the first period, extended the Caps' lead to 3-0 just 16 seconds into the third period, beating Fleury with a flawless wrist shot. But just to be safe, Washington continued to pile on. According to a report from the USA Today, the concussion spotters had no authority to pull Crosby off the ice after that Game 6 incident.

Down but not out, the Washington Capitals pushed anxiety aside.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added two assists as the Capitals broke open the game with three third-period goals to take a 5-0 lead. While Burakovsky had been consistently generating scoring chances, he didn't have production at the time, making the change odd on the surface. Defenseman Trevor Daley didn't play Game 6.

Washington's early pressure was rewarded when Burakovsky doubled the lead at 6:36 of the second after forcing a turnover by Ron Hainsey.

That created a two-on-one with Burakovsky and Oshie, and Burakovsky kept it for himself, wedging the puck between Fleury. In the three games Pittsburgh has won, the Penguins blocked over 28 shots per game.

That rejiggered top line continued to pose problems for the Penguins, as it accounted for two of the Capitals' goals in the third period.

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There are six scenarios that could lead to an National Hockey League player being removed from a game to be evaluated for a suspected concussion.

Fans in the arena started to get restless when the score got to 2-0. "I think there needs to be some kind of review and there needs to be some kind of punishment for the other team that they're going to feel because they got away with one there and it's too important to get wrong".

Then again, neither did any of his teammates as Washington dominated. The difference in this game was that the Capitals hadn't made any mistakes for Pittsburgh to use in a counterattack. Washington is 3-3 at home this postseason; Pittsburgh is 3-2 on the road.

The Capitals led in shots 11-3 by the end of the first.

This time, there would be no response by the Penguins.

All series the Capitals have been aiming to play better in front of Holtby, who had his best game of the series Saturday in stopping 20 of 22 shots. FILE - This April 28, 2010 file photo shows Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, of Slovakia, celebrating the team's 2-1 win as Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russian Federation, skates off after Game 7 of the.

On Monday morning, it was Oshie who was particularly vocal about this game marking an opportunity for Washington to get a "do-over" and show this isn't the same team that annually falls short of the conference final.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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