Capitals Look To End Penguins' Elimination-Game Streak

"Our players know that as well". The Penguins had been 4-0 in elimination games under Sullivan but had trouble getting much going as Washington cut off shooting lanes and created havoc in the neutral zone, leading to 15 Pittsburgh turnovers, the last on Kuznetsov's poke away from a rushing Crosby that began the series-deciding sequence.

BC-HKN-Penguins-Capitals, 1st Ld-Writethru, 461 Vrana makes most of promotion, Caps win to put Pens on brinkAP Photo VZN102, VZN108, VZN109, VZN105, VZN104, VZN103, VZN101Eds: Capitals 6, Penguins 3. "At that point, you just have to really simplify your game, really simplify", Holtby said. They can move on to face the victor of the Tampa Bay-Boston series if they win Game 6 Monday in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh got goals from Jamie Oleksiak at even strength and Crosby and Patric Hornqvist on the power play, often hanging goalie Matt Murray out to dry as he allowed four on 30 shots.

Game 6 is Monday in Pittsburgh. In Game 4, Ovechkin was even held without a shot. The Capitals have only reached the Conference finals twice.

"He's always been good in the playoffs, too. Our rock. Our captain", said center Jay Beagle.

Holtby's excellence, in this round against this opponent, may become one of the most significant developments in the Alex Ovechkin era. Trust me. We're trying as hard as we can and at the end of the day that's all we can promise. "I'm just happy right now".

The Penguins will beat the Capitals in Game 6. You don't have anything to save it for, so you go out there with one focus, and that's win a hockey game and get to a Game 7. Crosby took sole possession of second place on the Penguins' all-time playoff goals list with his 66th, breaking a tie with Jaromir Jagr. With Wilson suspended and Nicklas Backstrom's status in question after he left Game 5 with an injury, it will be on Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Vrana to deliver up front again in Game 6.

"I can tell you how I feel if there's four wins", Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said. Aside from the Lightning, the best remaining teams reside out west, so the best matchup awaits in the Stanley Cup final.

Instead, Ovechkin was off to the races with Vrana, taking advantage of the Penguins' having a forward back on defense after Dumoulin's play near the Capitals goal.

Ovechkin agreed that lowered expectations helped.

But first, go back to the other end of the ice. There was outright screaming. We know what's happened to us in the past. But the goal isn't to get past the second round.

The thing about all of this is that it is very similar to how the Predators ended up losing the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins a year ago when they had similar short-term meltdowns in three of their four losses. It was an exciting time, and an exciting moment, but you start to come off it, though.

"Obviously it means a lot when the coach trusts you for a player", Vrana said.

  • Julie Sanders