National Hockey League history has taught us that a Game 7 has a randomness that can not be predicted, but the Capitals have looked like they are taking charge of the Eastern Conference semifinal after a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6.
So much of this was a clinic, this 5-2 victory for the Capitals in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Although the Pens lost by three goals, Marc-Andre Fleury really wasn't one of Pittsburgh's main problems, per se - he had his fair share of quick-footed saves against the puck-controlling Caps.
#3 - The last time the Penguins and Capitals met in a Game 7 was 2009.
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. They let the Capitals score three goals in the third period to cut their series lead from 3-1 to 3-2. That Detroit squad swept the Capitals in the Cup finals that season.
The momentum carried over two days later and 250 miles northwest. If they want to have the chance to defend their Stanley Cup championship, they need to get back to what they do best.
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After the game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby was never checked for symptoms of a concussion. Sullivan also moved rookie Guentzel alongside Malkin and put Conor Sheary with Sidney Crosby. So is the fact that he suffered a concussion in Game 3 and missed Game 4. Crosby's headlong crash into the boards Monday night was enough to cause some people to shudder and look away. It's over now and we'll work on ways to adjust even better next game. And then again: "No".
For these playoffs, the Capitals have gotten crucial players to step up at the right time. Goaltender John Gibson was pulled from his only Game 7 start in 2014 after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and hes coming another hook after three goals on six shots in a 7-1 drubbing in Game 6 on Sunday.
Consider the play symbolic of the way Washington has bottled up the Penguins while evening the series. "Motor incoordination/balance problems", in which the spotter must identify the player stumbling or staggering or having trouble skating.
The Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals have been business-like, gritty and determined since falling behind 2-0 in the series.
Yet instead of simply trying to protect its advantage, Washington kept pressing.
The game was settled with a flurry of scoring in the third, with Backstrom beating Fleury for 3-0 before Carlson added a power-play goal to make it 4-0 at 11:17 of the third.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ryan Johansen scored the game-winning goal 3:15 into the third period, and Nashville advanced to its first Western Conference final in franchise history Sunday by beating St. Louis to take the series in six games.
Since hiring Trotz in 2014, the Capitals have had two other game sevens, both in 2015.
Nashville will play either Anaheim or Edmonton. That sentence may be true of the first four games of the series, but it was not of the last two. Pittsburgh did not record its first shot on goal at five-on-five until just 1.1 seconds remained in the first period.
Rickard Rakell scored midway through the second period for Anaheim.
One week later at Canadian Tire Centre, Holtby posted a 30-save shutout while Condon gave up just one on 20 shots, to T.J. Oshie in the game's second minute.
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