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National Hockey League playoff schedule 2017: It's a Game 7 doubleheader

22 Mai 2017

"To a man, we weren't good enough".

In order for the Penguins to win Game 7, they will have to come out with the same fire the Capitals brought out for Games 6 and 7; Sullivan will demand nothing less.

It was also pretty much a continuation of what we saw from the Penguins in their first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and it was worth asking if they could continue to scratch out wins playing that way (and we did ask it). Both teams have looked completely different when playing from behind. The Penguins' strength is their quick strike ability. Probably not a good one. That's when those possession stats really start to matter. That said, the forwards are the strength of this team and this is a good/better look than they've had recently.

They do, and after all the great work they've done to force a Game 7, the Caps must now win one more game to ensure the last two wins weren't all for naught. "You have to find ways to get better, play better and move on".

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. 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. Roman Josi had a goal and an assist, and Calle Jarnkrok added an empty-netter with 60 seconds left. Andre Burakovsky has been the star of the show, notching three goals over the past two games. John Gibson was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots less than 8 1/2 minutes into the game.

In the span of 80 minutes - from the third period of Game 5 through a one-sided Washington victory in Game 6 Monday - whatever open ice Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the defending Stanley Cup champions enjoyed while building a 3-1 series lead effectively disappeared.

Those struggles are more happenstance than predictive going forward, though. There's not much a goalie can do against 2-on-1s and breakaways. The Pens fought hard to stay in the game, though the first period ended with the lone Caps goal. It had been.889 heading into Game 5. Forget, for a moment, the theme that colors this whole series and these two franchises: the fact that Crosby's Penguins have won two Stanley Cups while Ovechkin's Capitals have won none.

The shot disparity between the two teams has been a topic of conversation throughout. "We can wear them down a little bit more there". One of the major factors in Washington's turnaround to this point has been better shot selection. The Penguins have won each of the previous three. "The shot (count) is an indication of that". After all, that's what makes them the best in the world at what they do.

Last night, in Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena, Crosby went down in a heap yet again. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.2 goals per game and are killing 83.8 percent of their opponents power plays. "We just need to get the job done and learn from these (games)". The new policy allowed independent "Central League Spotters" monitoring a game via television from the league's Player Safety Room in NY to order a player be removed from a game if he showed "visible signs" of a concussion. That's when the Penguins take control.

National Hockey League playoff schedule 2017: It's a Game 7 doubleheader