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Mike Sullivan praises character of these Penguins as their season faces elimination

08 May 2018

The Capitals rebounded nicely from a 3-2 deficit in Game 5 at home on Saturday, outscoring their opponents 4-0 in the third period en route to an impressive 6-3 victory.

According to the Washington Post, the Capital's star center, Nicklas Backstrom, is a game-time decision as he mends from an upper-body injury he endured in Game 5.

"We're going to Pittsburgh with one goal in mind", Washington coach Barry Trotz said. The Rangers, Lightning, Canadiens, and Penguins have all stopped the Capitals' Cup pursuit before reaching the Conference finals just this decade.

And just in case Alex Ovechkin and his teammates ever forget about their playoff missteps, they need only step in front of a camera or a microphone, where the same questions are posed year after year.

Washington is 7-2 in its last nine games.

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Goalie Braden Holtby (36 saves) started everything with a key save at the other end, beginning the rush that ended with the Vrana goal. Blake Wheeler also had three assists, and Nikolaj Ehlers added two.

The stakes led to an unusually slow start for both before the Capitals broke through 2:13 into the second when Walker held off Pittsburgh's Derick Brassard behind the Pittsburgh net and fed Chiasson in the right circle.

For starters, two of Rutherford's in-season acquisitions (Derick Brassard and Jamie Oleksiak) combined for an early goal, but it wasn't just about the new guys showing up in the box score. John Carlson and Brett Connelly collected the Capitals' other goals. "The games are separated by one goal here, mistake here, mistake there".

Pittsburgh skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five home outings.

Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist, and Paul Stastny and Mathieu Perrault also scored as the Jets got four goals on 14 shots in the second period.

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"Everybody understands the situation", Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. In the playoffs, the team's up to an average of 33.1 shots on goal ( 3.7 goals per game).

Even with that cushion, the Capitals are taking a conservative approach.

Should Washington drop the next two games, they would fall short of the second round yet again with Ovechkin. "We move forward and now I can't wait for the next game and get ready for Tampa". As Ranger fans, we know what it's like seeing a generational talent not get to the promised land. "We beat the twice Stanley Cup champion and it gives us pretty good feeling about ourselves". We felt like we could've won. You can see everybody blocking shots, everybody play defensively.

"If you can go back to last game and tell me which one you're really faulting Pekka Rinne on, then I'll be happy to sit down and watch it with you". That's how close it is. Backstrom sat out almost all of the third period on Saturday, after it appeared that he got hurt blocking a shot on (guess what) the penalty kill earlier in the game.

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Mike Sullivan praises character of these Penguins as their season faces elimination