Equipped with newfound defensive dominance, or at least a dependence on those defensive strengths, they will get one final shot at beating the Pens in the playoffs for the first time since 1994 in an anticipated Game 7 on Wednesday. Heading into Game 7, now would be a good time for Lars Eller and Jay Beagle to pick up their first goal. Both teams have looked completely different when playing from behind. The Penguins' strength is their quick strike ability. Now, it certainly seems like Washington has the advantage, especially since it has arguably outplayed the Penguins for most of the series. We might look back and suggest that this was, in its own way, a prelude to the Cup. That's when those possession stats really start to matter. And when the puck drops to decide the series, the clear favorite will be the team in red sweaters.
That's what most of the betting market is counting on, with 70 percent of the tickets on the Penguins. Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik played for the Penguins that night. The first three rallied Washington from a 2-1 deficit to keep its season alive.
Backstrom has been an offensive force in the playoffs against the Penguins. Washington needs to go into Game 7 with the mentality that matching minors are as risky as giving up a power play and avoid it at all costs. The Senators lead that series 3-2 going into Game 6 on Tuesday. The Austrian winger has scored three goals and added an assist. Just as troubling as the lack of pucks they've sent Holtby's way over the last two games is where those pucks have come from.
In the span of 80 minutes - from the third period of Game 5 through a one-sided Washington victory in Game 6 Monday - whatever open ice Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the defending Stanley Cup champions enjoyed while building a 3-1 series lead effectively disappeared. There's not much a goalie can do against 2-on-1s and breakaways.
Then, later in the game, he did battle with Beagle in front of the Caps' goal.
"I don't know if there's any hump to get over", said Trotz, who is 1-1 with the Capitals in two Game 7 opportunities in 2015.
The shot disparity between the two teams has been a topic of conversation throughout. It was the most of any forward on Pittsburgh. Not all shots are created equal. The Capitals have come back from 3-1, but they're still the team with the best regular-season record. "We can wear them down a little bit more there". One of the major factors in Washington's turnaround to this point has been better shot selection. If not, it will be another year where Ovechkin is spending his spring playing for a gold in the world championship rather than a Stanley Cup. Each superstar had three shots in the game.
On the other end of the ice, the Penguins have lost two straight games. The players all talked about the need to stay loose.
Pittsburgh should spend minimal time going over Game 6, but they should address a few key issues.
He also took exception to spotters not being able to remove a player from action on a play that includes their head hitting the boards. The game tips off at 7:30 PM EST in PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh and can be watched online live on FuboTV.
Despite his previous concussion, and despite looking dazed after the fall, the NHL's concussion "spotters" - people in NY who watch all games and have the authority to remove a player from action to be evaluated for a concussion - did not remove Crosby from the game.