Crosby returns for Penguins after concussion

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Capitals scored first in 58 of 82 regular season games, but in only 4 of 11 postseason games. That said, there was reason to be wary about the chance their beloved Washington club could mount a third-period comeback. It's up to those star players (the envy of every other team in the NHL) to do something about this elimination game. Pittsburgh recovered from an early season malaise to sprint through the 2016 playoffs, where it averaged 34.8 shots a game while allowing just 28.

Sidney Crosby was back in the Pens' lineup after missing Game 4 with a concussion. Maybe not exactly in such a fashion, with the Capitals firing home three goals in five minutes in the third period to stave off elimination, but certainly one where the Washington offense broke through and powered a victory.

Michael Grabner appeared to win it for the Rangers less than 5 minutes into overtime, but it was disallowed because his redirection came on a high-stick. In fact, it hasn't even really been all that close.

The Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a 4-2 loss in Saturday night's game five against the Washington Capitals. But the Penguins can be better, and they will be. Washington's dominance when both teams are at full strength has manifested itself in the shots on goal totals, which are tilted heavily in the Capitals' favor. Sure, to Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

"We were sort of stuck in that two- and three-goal area and in a very important moment in the third period obviously in an important game, our guys delivered against him, so I think that gives us a boost of confidence". They have to be completely relentless, much like they were during Game 5. Washington boasted 54.8 percent of the shot attempts and scored all four of their goals at 5-on-5. Backstrom's goal did not just wake the team, it also sparked the crowd. Washington has 30 chances and just 19 against at 5-on-5, good for a scoring chances for percentage of 61.2. Pittsburgh is averaging 29.2 shots per game so far while giving up 37.3.

Then, from nearly out of nowhere, the Capitals offense erupted.

Game 6 is Tuesday night in NY. "Maybe the guys didn't know the goaltender was coming (out), but there was less than two minutes (to play) and (Ottawa) was down by a goal so they should expect it but maybe the guys got caught not knowing the goalie was out". Actually getting pucks past the Pittsburgh netminder could be a different story, however.

Braden Holtby, Capitals - The Vezina Trophy finalist stopped 20 shots, including 12 saves in third period, to get the win for the Caps. The Penguins can put the Capitals away with just one more win this series. Andre Burakovsky, who replaced Ovechkin on the first line, had a goal and an assist, and Ovechkin also scored. Kuznetsov already has a guarantee about Ovechkin for next game: "He's going to score two goals".

In the early game, Ottawa and NY see-sawed for three periods before Kyle Turris won Game 5 in overtime on a fundamentally sound play of following his own shot and pushing the rebound past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

If the Capitals had lost, bowed out of the playoffs early once again in front of their own fans, blame would rightly be laid at the feet of those four players.

Latest News