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Capitals top Penguins, force Game 7

Capitals top Penguins, force Game 7

It's not 1992. It's not 1996, 2009 or 2016 for that matter. He reunited the "HBK" line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel that worked so well during last spring's Cup run and the trio responded by generating one shot on goal.

Crosby, 29, incurred a concussion in the first period of Game 3 of the Pens' Eastern Conference semifinal against the Washington Capitals after receiving a slash from Alex Ovechkin and a cross check to the head from Matt Niskanen in quick succession.

This is the fourth time the two teams will meet in a winner-take-all.

It goes without saying, but the Penguins (or any hockey team for that matter) can not win without shooting the puck. Not that it bothers the Capitals.

"I don't think we've given ourselves the opportunity to establish the way we want to play", Sullivan said. "Two, I've never been past the second round. That's the process as I know it".

So it was Monday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

This year's Penguins-Capitals Game 5 was up 4% vs. the same series' Game 5 last year (Total Audience Deliver of 4.187 million), which also aired after the Kentucky Derby. Intent on not repeating history, the Capitals jumped on the defending Stanley Cup champions early and didn't relent.

"Since about Game 3, we've had a calmness about what we are doing", Trotz said. The fun part has been the obstacle.”. Rookie Jake Guentzel picked up his league-leading ninth playoff goal in Game 6.

The Capitals have played a smart brand of hockey, completely removing the odd-man rushes the other way. Andre Burakovsky stripped the puck from Ron Hainsey along the boards and walked in on Marc-Andre Fleury, beating him with a patient shot from in close that squeaked through the netminder's arm and into the net for a 2-0 Washington lead - the only goal of the night that didn't beat Fleury high-glove.

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Anyone who watched Crosby go headfirst into the boards late in the first period of Game 6 against the Washington Capitals had a hard time understanding how the concussion spotters, both at the PPG Paints Arena and in the player safety room in NY, could not have immediately ordered him off the Penguins' bench and off the ice for further observation.

Most importantly, the stars will have to shine bright for the Penguins to advance.

None of it worked as Washington pushed the Penguins around.

Anybody who saw Sidney Crosby go flying head first into the end boards all thought the same thing: Oh no, not again.

Game 7 will be Wednesday night in Washington, where Crosby, perhaps the best player in the world, is expected to take the ice.

Fleury is going to have come up big against the NHL's most unsafe offense one more time and the blue line will have to learn from its Game 6 mistakes and be more careful with the puck.

The other key takeaway here is about how important the Penguins-Capitals series is for NBC. "Motor incoordination/balance problems", in which the spotter must identify the player stumbling or staggering or having trouble skating. After Oshie had a monster shift to keep the puck in the zone, Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey got it along the boards and was about to clear it out of Pittsburghs end when Burakovsky hit him and separated from the puck.

The Capitals appeared to be on their way to another disappointing playoff exit, falling behind 3-1 in the series after four games. No longer is Washington trying to avoid embarrassment; now Pittsburgh is. Backstrom flipped a wrist shot by Fleury 16 seconds into the third to make it 3-0 and when John Carlson fired one past Fleury 11:17 into the third, the arena began emptying out.


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