Capitals overwhelm Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

Holtby gloved Bonino's chance from the slot early in the third period to keep it 2-2. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has done plenty of mixing and matching himself over the course of the season, striking gold in the unexpectedly potent combination of Guentzel and Crosby. Only twice during the regular season did Pittsburgh lose when entering the third with a lead. He finished with just one goal and one assist in 12 playoff games, one of the biggest disappointments in another early exit for Washington.

What's particularly curious about this second-round series against Pittsburgh though is that, save maybe the Game 2 disaster, Washington has been the better team by a fair margin.

Granted, Kunitz is only averaging 13:46 of ice time per game, so his opportunities to be on the ice for a goal allowed have been limited.

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he needed his top players to step up in Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In fact, it hasn't even really been all that close. He loves games like Game 5, when the Washington Capitals' entire season and Stanley Cup hopes are on the line. Five minutes into the game, the forward took a stick to the face, and cut his nose in the process and bled for a few moments.

According to, the Capitals have controlled 53.7 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when Kuznetsov has been on the ice in this postseason. Pittsburgh managed just 3 shots in the opening frame. I think we'll generate a little bit more from that. As other Capitals have expressed concern over how "tight" the team has been in this second-round series, Kuznetsov has been the opposite of that.

"It doesn't matter, leaders or not leaders, top six, bottom six", said Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored the Game 5 victor. These things don't just magically get better in a day or two.

5 things you don't know about Baby Groot of 'Guardians'
Starlord (Chris Pratt), who grew up knowing only his mother before being whisked off to become a space-traveling thief. The key to the first film's appeal was that we loved the characters and their whole dysfunctional family dynamic.

Burakovsky and John Carlson tacked on two more goals for Washington. In Saturday's game, Washington had eight chances to Pittsburgh's five, and Fleury was tested 19 times from mid- and high-danger areas. 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. The Capitals have been given a money line of -105 to win tonight. Here are some moments from the game. Actually getting pucks past the Pittsburgh netminder could be a different story, however.

TURRIS TIME: Ottawa Senators Game 5 star Kyle Turris became the seventh player in National Hockey League history to score three overtime winners in his first 40 Stanley Cup playoff games. The Caps were able to bounce back and win Game 3.

It's do or die in Washington, and a must-win for a Penguins club looking to avoid Game 7 on the road with the momentum out of their hands.

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. Saturday was the first time in the series Fleury posted a sub-.900 SP, though, and while it would seem foolish to suggest one game means the Capitals have suddenly figured out how to beat this seemingly new-look playoff Fleury, blasting four pucks past the netminder is a positive sign for Washington.

So it made plenty of sense to pick against a deep run for the Penguins once the team announced Letang would have surgery and be out for four to six months.

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