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Capitals rally past Penguins in Game 5 to avoid elimination

08 Mai 2017

You're a hockey fan, you signed up for this. “The last (win is) always the hardest to get. "I think once you get all those responsibilities and you feel comfortable with them and you accept them, then I think you can have growth and that's just the natural progression of a player growing into a bigger role and a bigger responsibility".

Conor Sheary was also back after missing Game 4 with a concussion that came as a result of a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist on Monday.

Carl Hagelin scored in the first for Pittsburgh.

The Penguins' best likely would include more scoring chances.

Yes again, this isn't anything new. Washington has been dominant in a way that no other club in the second round has, which is somewhat shocking given the Capitals are up against a team that was, for some, the favorite to win the Stanley Cup for the second-straight season and remains the favorite as we head towards Game 6.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's starting to make sense why previous year was so devastating to Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The Penguins confidence stems from still having a 3-2 series lead, home ice in Game 6 and getting Crosby back five days after he was concussed. “Were going to have to be the best team in the league if were going to win this series.

Michael Grabner appeared to win it for the Rangers less than 5 minutes into overtime, but it was disallowed because his redirection came on a high stick. Penguins were up 2 to 1 early in the second period. And the hope in Washington has to be that Saturday's performance was the spark the Capitals needed to mount a season-defining comeback. There were three lead changes, punches and counter punches, acrobatic saves and near-saves, and the consistently superlative play of Erik Karlsson in a thrilling matinee that pushed the Senators one win from their first conference final in a decade. The Caps have gone above and beyond in this category outshooting the Penguins in every game and controlling puck possession. They could dig deep and extend their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series against Pittsburgh, or fade away and face the end of their season-and potentially, an era. But they are still behind. They are up 3-0 in the first period.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for the Penguins, but he wasn't particually sharp in the third. The Caps struggled versus the Maple Leafs because the Leafs were the faster team. "We were looking for a little more depth". They've taken advantage of their chances, few as they have been, which is why they have a series lead. He's been consistent. Repeat that last word again: consistent.

All eyes will be on Crosby to see if he plays in Saturday's Game 5.

Braden Holtby has been everything but consistent.

He worked on his mental toughness, realizing that games - good or bad - have to be immediately forgotten at this time of year. "So I think that's where his defensive game - obviously, I don't think he's that much better of a skater now than he was three years ago, but I think he knows how to use it. Defensively, he's definitely gotten a lot better".

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), from Denmark, celebrates as teammate Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russian Federation, scores a goal as Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and teammates Olli Maatta (3), from Finland, . He's one of those guys who just has really good edge-work, so he's really deceptive with his speed. Played too conservative. Couple lazy backchecks and Caps surged.

"I thought he was solid", Sullivan said.

It goes without saying Monday's matchup is the most important game in Capitals' history. Holtby's usually the best goalie in any given game, but it hasn't been true this series. "I think that's what good leadership does".

Capitals rally past Penguins in Game 5 to avoid elimination