Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals are now in a dogfight with the Carolina Hurricanes as both clubs now approach Game 7. After an outstanding Game 5 performance by the Capitals over the weekend, the Capitals did not carry any momentum into Raleigh for Game 6 on Monday evening. The Capitals were outworked and out-hustled in Raleigh, and will look to rebound with their biggest game of the series on Wednesday evening. Puck drop in DC is at 7:30 PM ET. It will be nationally televised on NBCSN and locally televised on NBC Sports Washington.
THE BRINK OF ELIMINATION
The Capitals did not play well in Game 6. They were outshot and did not perform well in the faceoff dot. To make matters worse, the officiating was of great concern to many fans after Game 6 ended.
The young Carolina Hurricanes are pushing the veteran Washington Capitals and giving the defending Stanley Cup Champions a run for their money in the postseason.
Despite a tough outing in Game 6, the Capitals must quickly put the loss behind them and regroup. The Capitals will head to Game 7 with plenty of experience and the Capitals tend to respond well when their backs are against the wall.
In this series, the Capitals have dominated on the powerplay and penalty kill. The Capitals are 28.6% effective on the powerplay, which is 4th among all playoff teams. The Capitals are also 87.5% effective on their powerplay, which is 3rd among all playoff teams.
The Hurricanes have been cold with their powerplay and penalty kill. The Hurricanes are just 12.5% effective with the man advantage, which ranks 14th among all playoff teams. On the penalty kill, they have been just 71.4% effective, which is 13th among all playoff teams.
LEADERS ON THE ICE
For the Capitals, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are leading the way. Backstrom leads all Capitals skaters with 5 goals, and Backstrom is also tied with Ovechkin for the team’s points lead with 8.
Braden Holtby is having a good playoff round in net. Holtby has recorded 3 wins, a 2.68 goals against average, a .916 save percentage, and 1 shutout.
For the Hurricanes, Warren Foegele and Dougie Hamilton are leading the way. Foegele has recorded 4 goals and 6 points in the series. Hamilton has also recorded 6 points in this series.
Petr Mrazek is also having a good playoff round in net for the Hurricanes. He has recorded 3 wins, a 2.67 goals against average, a .895 save percentage, and 1 shutout.
EMBRACE THE MOMENT
For the Capitals to win this game, there must be a complete team effort. They must quickly forget about Game 6, and must get back to basics and play like they did in Games 5.
The Capitals must get more production from Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson. These players are among the best in the league at their respective positions, but both have been fairly quiet in this series. A goal from one or both players in Game 7 will boost the Capitals chances of winning the game and the series.
The Capitals are at their best when they are skating hard and playing physical in front of the net. Game 7 will be a grind, and there will be plenty of momentum shifts in this game.
The Capitals must stick to their game and what makes them successful. The crowd in DC will deliver on energy and noise, and it is important that the Capitals stay energized to keep the crowd into the game. If the Capitals can get an early in the game, that will also give the crowd and the bench a huge boost in momentum.
Devante Smith-Pelly on Caps and Game 7: “We’ve been here before. We’ve done it before. I think that’s everyone’s mindset. I don’t think there’s going to be nerves or anything like that.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) April 23, 2019
By: George Foussekis