But a barrage of goals from Washington stars in the third period extended the series back to Pittsburgh for Game 6. Andre Burakovsky, who replaced Ovechkin on the first line, had a goal and an assist, and Ovechkin also scored.
Honestly, it was probably the best period of hockey the Capitals have played this entire postseason, and it wasn't just about getting more shots on goal but the right shots.
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), from Denmark, celebrates as teammate Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russian Federation, scores a goal as Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and teammates Olli Maatta (3), from Finland, .
Head coach Barry Trotz shuffled the deck ahead of Game 5, causing a frenzy at practice by moving captain Alex Ovechkin off the top line and into the bottom six with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson.
A 5-4 overtime loss Saturday - after the Senators scored the tying goal with 1:26 left in the third period on a shot that bounced off three Rangers before trickling across the goal line - put NY on the brink of elimination.More news: Chapecoense win state title six months after air tragedy
Holtby gloved Bonino's chance from the slot early in the third period to keep it 2-2.
Kuznetsov gave Washington a 3-2 lead when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury from a sharp angle at 7:20 of the third.
On the brink of elimination and trailing a Pittsburgh team that went 37-1-1 in the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs when up after two periods, the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals finally responded like the Cup contenders everyone thought they should be. Most importantly, though, Kunitz hasn't been on the ice for one even-strength goal allowed in the series.
One of the answers the Penguins are going to need to come up with is how to defend a new-look Capitals team that has spread their forward talent across four lines. "Played on our toes still but stayed patient and didn't try to do too much and we got rewarded". It's a low-scoring sport, so if you have quality goaltending you're going to be in every game.
In a quirky twist, the Capitals often have cited a failure to compete for all 60 minutes as a reason for their three losses in the second-round series.More news: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Puts Pressure on California, Illinois, Connecticut
EXPERIENCED BLUESHIRTS: New York is facing elimination for the first time in these playoffs on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and coach Alain Vigneault hopes the collective experience serves his team well. Carl Grundstrom did end up making his debut, and he also scored one of the five goals. Kuznetsov already has a guarantee about Ovechkin for next game: "He's going to score two goals".
Michael Grabner appeared to win it for the Rangers less than 5 minutes into overtime, but it was disallowed because his redirection came on a high-stick. Another night where Washington's comments echo Sullivan's "Right Way" elements might spell trouble for the Penguins.
"If we could find some of that scoring touch we had in the playoffs previous year, we'd be happy", said center Nick Bonino, who practiced on a line with Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel on Monday in Pittsburgh. Capitals?in Game 5 at Washington.? "Obviously, it's been the question in the media if we can get out of Round 2, if we've got what it takes to go all the way, and I think in times like these, you find out a lot about yourself and you show people ... what you're about".
The Pens need to win tonight at home in order to clinch the series against the Capitals.
While it may seem like a possible quick return to action after suffering another concussion, Crosby said Friday he is confident that the Penguins' staff will do all they can to make sure he's okay to return. Weve just got to take one game at a time and you have to reset here and, hopefully, we can get some confidence off this win..More news: Mourinho: Why I Lost Temper With Wenger On Touchline
Crosby has a history of concussions and missed the first six games this season. This means that Jake Guentzel, who is tied for the league scoring lead with eight goals so far, was shifted back to play on Evgeni Malkin's wing.
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