Penguins overwhelm Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

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None of it worked as Washington pushed the Penguins around.

"Since about Game 3, we've had a calmness about what we are doing", Trotz said.

Washington's bounce-back came after a disheartening 3-2 loss to the Pens in Game 4 in Pittsburgh a week ago.

The victor of that series will face the Nashville Predators, who eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues to make their first conference finals appearance in franchise history. If you need even more convincing, here's an important stat: The team that scores first in Game 7 is 124-42 all-time including a 5-0 mark in 2016.

Pittsburgh Coach Mike Sullivan tinkered with his lines after Game 5, reuniting Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel, who played an instrumental part in the team's Cup run last spring. "It doesn't hurt the psyche, that's for sure, because I think it takes a little frustration out of your game if you finally crack through a little bit".

"Our group has pretty good resolve and we've grown through our past", Trotz said. It's nearly as if the Capitals faced their worst fears while trailing during the third period in Game 5 in Washington, found a way to win that game, and have seized this second life ever since. After winning two games and reaching Game 7 at Verizon Center, however, now there is something to lose. "We know that's not going to be the exact same story".

"They just kind of fell apart", Peters said. We'll regroup. We're going to enjoy this.

The Washington Capitals hope to win their third straight game and get over that playoff hump by getting to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Braden Holtby made 16 saves for the Capitals.

Fleury is going to have come up big against the NHL's most risky offense one more time and the blue line will have to learn from its Game 6 mistakes and be more careful with the puck. "You have to find ways to get better, play better and move on. FLEU-RY!" and might've planted enough of a seed of belief for the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On Tuesday after practice, Crosby said he was checked by a doctor Monday night but did not go into concussion protocol.

Then, later in the game, he did battle with Beagle in front of the Caps' goal. Defenseman Trevor Daley didn't play Game 6.

"We have no time to waste right now", Rangers forward Jesper Fast said.

Pittsburgh had a couple of scary moments in the first.

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. No longer would a trainer have to be told to go forth and multiply after tapping a player on the shoulder and telling him to leave the bench.

Crosby, who sat out a game to recover from his most recent concussion, was agonizingly slow to get up.

Crosby said he felt fine and was cleared to continue to play by the team medical staff.

Washington took a 2-0 lead at 6:36 of the second.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle didnt blame Gibson and said its about the entire team being better.

There's nothing better in hockey than the NHL playoffs, and there's nothing better in the NHL playoffs than a Game 7.

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.

The Capitals appeared on the verge of another exit at the hands of the Penguins going into the third period of Game 5. He was replaced in the lineup by D Chad Ruhwedel, who made his National Hockey League playoff debut. They have been ousted from the playoffs in eight of the nine times they've faced the Penguins.

Crosby returned to the game and played 19 minutes, 57 seconds. Pittsburgh's Petr Nedved won with a shot in the fourth overtime that could have been called "Easter Epic 2.0".

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