NHL Burakovsky at the double as Caps down Penguins to tie series

Jake Guentzel leads Pittsburgh with nine goals, Evgeni Malkin has 13 assists and Phil Kessel has 34 shots on goal. "FLEU-RY!" and might've planted enough of a seed of belief for the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Washington Capitals have overcome a 3-1 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins to force a decisive Game 7 at the Verizon Center on Wednesday.

After giving up another late lead before losing in overtime again on the road, the Rangers return home needing a win in Game 6 on Tuesday night to avoid elimination in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Ottawa. As head coach Barry Trotz has said, "We're having fun now".

"If you look at the games, even if it was 3-1 to them, I thought we actually played better than the results", Backstrom said.

"We were sort of stuck in that two- and three-goal area and in a very important moment in the third period obviously in an important game, our guys delivered against him, so I think that gives us a boost of confidence".

And in both those games, the Capitals have stepped up and stood out, keeping their ever-elusive title hopes alive.

"We're still down", captain Alex Ovechkin said. They just want to win.

The best moments were the times they got the puck past Fleury, the 2009 Stanley Cup victor who was Matt Murray's backup on the Penguins' title run a year ago and is only starting because of the 23-year-old's injury. So it was encouraging that Andre Burakovsky scored his first goal in Game 5 and then followed it up with a pair of goals in Game 6. So he can't do that this whole series. They carried over their stellar play from the third period of Game 5 and immediately took control in the form of a T.J. "He's made save after save for us". They're trained from young ages to withstand pain and put forth their best effort on the ice.

Even when they trailed 3-1 in the series, the Capitals didn't feel defeated. Despite this sluggish recovery, though, the spotters didn't pull him from the game. These are the games in which they live to play. It wasn't quite the first period we wanted, but the last 40 [minutes] were really good for us. Some of that is the play in front of him, especially with Pittsburgh defenseman Trevor Daley missing Game 6 with a lower-body injury, but if the Capitals have found a hole on the goaltenders glove side theyre not saying.

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

"Pittsburgh has not been the same since (Sidney) Crosby came back" after his concussion. He lamented some struggles for his line, but expressed no concerns about his health.

"If the Capitals think they won an easy game Monday and because of that they'll win Game 7", he said, "I say, 'No'". "There were some chances there". They're not going to just go away. With players due pay raises and salary-cap constraints looming this summer, this playoff run is the last for the best team to surround Ovechkin, and the window is closing for the 31-year-old to win a Stanley Cup.

What the Penguins need to do if they want to take the next step in becoming the first Stanley Cup champion in almost 20 years to repeat is pretty clear. You're trying to climb back in the game, you start taking chances and you don't play the same way. "This is going to be an opportunity for our team to respond and to play a strong game in a pressure situation".

  • Salvatore Jensen