July 26, 2017

Capitals rally past Penguins 5 to avoid elimination

09 May 2017, 07:56 | Simon Arnold

But the Capitals' breakthrough Saturday might be a sign their luck is about to change. The three third-period goals came on five shots over a span of 5:02, including Kuznetsovs goal from a super-sharp angle.

"I felt good", Sheary said of the morning skate as a horde of reporters crowded around his stall in the tiny visitors locker room.

If that happens again and Pittsburgh has a lead in the third period, Sullivan won't make the same mistake twice. The Penguins went into the second intermission with a lead having won 37 of 39 games in that spot during the regular season and all six in the playoffs.

Despite out shooting their opponents, the Capitals were down 2-1 at the end of the second period and looking at yet another early playoff elimination.

His winning goal in Game 5 was the third consecutive playoff game in which he scored.

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. ".We basically said, 'We've gotta get this.' Everyone who scored was one of our top guys". Their 4-2 win cuts the Pittsburgh Penguins' series lead to 3-2 and takes the battle back to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on Monday. In fact, it hasn't even really been all that close.

It wasn't unlike most of the first four games of the series, when Washington would control play for long stretches only to have Pittsburgh expertly counterpunch on its way to a 3-1 series lead. He was the much hotter goaltender than reigning Vezina Trophy victor and again finalist Braden Holtby, who outdueled him in an emotional Game 5 as the Capitals avoided elimination. Washington's dominance when both teams are at full strength has manifested itself in the shots on goal totals, which are tilted heavily in the Capitals' favor.

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Vesey pulled the Rangers in front 4-3 with his first career playoff goal when he pounced on a rebound of Brady Skjei's shot. "I think he's accepted that, and once you accept that, then you become a real good player". NY has scored first all five games this series.

"It doesn't matter, leaders or not leaders, top six, bottom six", said Evgeny Kuznetsov, who scored the Game 5 victor.

It's not just shots on goal where the Capitals are dominating, though, because putting so much rubber Fleury's way has also resulted in a sizeable advantage in scoring chances. "Just being a little bit better in the offensive zone". "FLEU-RY!" and might've planted enough of a seed of belief for the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Braden Holtby got a big piece of Hagelin's wrist shot but could not prevent it from crossing the line.

It's a departure from last season against the Penguins, when Kuznetsov said he mostly saw the line of Matt Cullen and Nick Bonino. "That's why we practice all summer, that's why we play 82 games for those moments". "In the third period, we just said, 'Let's go at 'em.' There was no panic".

It was a sweet moment for the Capitals, but they're aware an even more blissful one awaits if they can duplicate their performance on Wednesday. Actually getting pucks past the Pittsburgh netminder could be a different story, however. The Penguins still hold a 3-2 win in the series.

Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Tom Pyatt also scored and Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots to help Ottawa get its fifth overtime win of the postseason, including a double-overtime victory here against the Rangers in Game 2.

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