Game 6 Preview: Up 3-2 in the Series, the Washington Capitals Have a Chance to Close the Series in Pittsburgh

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Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals are close to breaking through the second-round hurdle.  They are right on the doorstep, and after a huge 6-3 win in Game 5, they are poised to close the series out on Monday evening.  Puck drop is at 7 PM on NBCSN.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

The Penguins are trying to force a Game 7 back in Washington.  After Game 5, Head Coach Mike Sullivan said that Game 5 was arguably Pittsburgh’s best performance of the series.

While the Penguins did not get the result they wanted, they received a couple of assists from Phil Kessel in Game 5.  Kessel has only recorded 1 goal in these playoffs, and has struggled to find the back of the net offensively.

Patric Hornqvist has been a big pest for the Capitals this postseason.  In Game 5, he was arguably the Penguins best skater.  He recorded a powerplay goal, and he also registered 8 shots on goal.

The Penguins have an experienced group that has won Stanley Cups.  There is no reason for anyone to count them out in this series.  The Penguins will look to get off to a quick start in Game 6, and will look to score early and often against Washington.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

The Capitals are up 3-2 in the series, but they are not satisfied.  Getting over the second-round hurdle in the Ovechkin era has not been guaranteed.  The Capitals have their work cut out for them, and must play a near perfect game for Game 6.

After a sluggish 2nd period in Game 5, the Capitals rallied in the third period and scored 4 goals.  Jakub Vrana played the hero for the Capitals, as he recorded the game-winning goal of the game after he was placed on the top line next to Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Braden Holtby was outstanding for the Capitals in Game 5.  He made 36 saves, with 18 of those saves coming in the 2nd period.  Holtby must remain outstanding if the Capitals want any chance of closing this series in Game 6.

The bad news for the Capitals is that Nicklas Backstrom left Game 5 injured in the second period.  Per Barry Trotz, he has an upper-body injury, but there is no timetable for his return.

John Carlson was also clipped up high late in Game 5, and was evaluated after the game.

With possible injuries to Backstrom and Carlson, and with Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson already on the shelf, the Capitals depth will be tested down the stretch in this playoff series.

KEYS TO GAME 6

Score First: The Penguins are going to come out flying since their backs are against the wall. The Capitals have to neutralize them, and the best way of doing so is scoring the first goal of the game.

Pin this as Game 7: The Capitals must treat this Game 6 like Game 7. The Capitals have the chance to make history with a win in Game 6.  The Capitals have to match the desperation the Penguins will bring to the ice.

Great Goaltending: Braden Holtby has been outstanding in this series, and in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He must weather the storm, and remain calm, cool, and collected in the net for the Capitals.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
This entry was posted in Barry Trotz, Games, Goaltending, News, NHL, Teams, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Game 6 Preview: Up 3-2 in the Series, the Washington Capitals Have a Chance to Close the Series in Pittsburgh

  1. Pingback: Barry Trotz: “Just get behind us. Please. That’s all I ask.” | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: How the Capitals Could Line Up for Game 6, Nicklas Backstrom Missed Morning Skate | NoVa Caps

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