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Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Sport | By Dustin Murphy

Capitals rally past Penguins in Game 5 to avoid elimination

Capitals rally past Penguins in Game 5 to avoid elimination

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

"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".

"Since Game 3, we've had a sense of calmness about what we're doing", Washington head coach Barry Trotz said.

Despite not having Sidney Crosby in the lineup, the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to pull off a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. To do that, coach Mike Sullivan should lean on his stars and old reliable veterans such as Chris Kunitz.

It's always said that the fourth win in a playoff series is the hardest one to get. "To a man, we weren't good enough".

"We're playing one of the best teams in the league", Holtby said. "We were looking for a little more depth".

"We have to be pretty mature about this, though". "We're going to have to push them out". Washington systematically dismantled the defending Stanley Cup champions, who looked listless as they struggled to generate any kind of sustained pressure. "I believe in this group and we're going to rely on our experience. It was a fun one tonight for us, but we definitely have to regroup and get refocused on the start for Game 7". Through the first four games of the series, Fleury had stopped 93.7 per cent of shots, which is bordering on otherworldly.

The Penguins, who have been outshot by large margins every single game, have been relying in large part on Marc-Andre Fleury being incredible and Holtby being human in their respective nets. Backstrom, along the right wall, started a bang-bang play by passing to Kuznetsov below the extended goal line. It might mean marginally fewer minutes for each player, but it also means that you have Oshie (a career 13 per cent shooter) on one line with a playmaker, Ovechkin (a career 12 per cent shooter and a volume shooter as well) on another line with a playmaker, and Kuznetsov (a career 11 per cent shooter) on a third line with a playmaker. But at the end of the day, you need these shots to beat Fleury.

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Crosby has a history of concussions and missed the first six games this season.

"There's no doubt that for me experience, when you have it, is a good thing", Vigneault said on a conference call Sunday. "Now we have to focus on the second game".

Based on how he played down the stretch, the 37-year-old appeared ready for retirement this June. "I think we can do a better job in front of him". "Just being a little bit better in the offensive zone".

Matt Niskanen with a nice hockey play to leave his skates out for Patric Hornqvist to slide into, eh? Up until that point, however, the game remained in question.

Crosby then paused on his hands and knees, drew a deep breath and slowly got back onto his feet before skating toward the action. Kuznetsov took the spot beneath the goal line and passed the puck to Backstrom on the boards.

The Capitals certainly did not sit on their lead.

The Capitals then added two more goals that period, building a commanding 5-0 lead.

"It worked out. We won", Burakovsky said. Even if we had been trained to expect it in this series. The two skaters with the next best Relative Corsi For percentages for the Penguins are Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin. Washington is just 1-7 in their last eight games at Pittsburgh. It looks like it might be Chad Ruhwedel based on who was playing with the different units during practice this morning. That unit played well together and brought a physicality to the rink that would be useful against teams such as the Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets.

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