By: Andrew McDermott
Did anybody really think that the Penguins would defeat the Capitals in five games? Let alone beat the Capitals in an elimination game on their own home ice? This is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Winning a series, especially against the President’s Trophy winners, wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. Sure, the Capitals choke every year and never make it past the second round. That’s been the running joke of the NHL for the past several years. So Saturday night, you had to expect the Capitals to bring everything they had onto the ice. You had to expect Alex Ovechkin to finally tally a goal in the series. This was the Washington Capitals last gasp. The Capitals stars finally showed up in Game 5. Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov all tallied goals in the 4-2 victory.
Marc-Andre Fleury had a game where he wasn’t a brick wall. Relax Penguins fans. Twitter during the game was calling out Fleury for giving up what may have been a couple weak goals. I don’t agree with that. He played an overall good game. The Capitals scored off of the rush twice in the game, and just beat the Penguins by outplaying them. I’ll take Fleury’s .929% save percentage any day of the week for the amount of shots he’s faced this series. Fleury stole Game 1 and Game 4 of this series. He’s been one of the key reasons the Penguins are up 3-2 in this series. Also, hey Penguins fans: Sidney Crosby is back in the lineup. So yeah, that’s kind of a big deal.
The Penguins will be okay folks. The Capitals finally won a game on their home ice. Game 6 will be played in Pittsburgh on Monday. Sidney Crosby is back in the lineup. The Penguins will be okay. Barry Trotz and Co. will be scheduling their tees time come Monday Night. Penguins in six was my original prediction, let’s hope it doesn’t go to seven games. Then maybe the worry will start to settle in. I couldn’t see the Capitals winning three in a row against the Penguins. I still don’t see it. The Capitals had their last gasp Saturday night.
- It was nice to see Carl Hagelin score his first goal since January 20th after going through a slump and dealing with injuries. If he can get his scoring touch back, it’ll be a key addition for having another scoring option on the 3rd/4th
- Conor Sheary also returned from a concussion Saturday. However, Sheary hasn’t had great playoffs so far. Zero goals and two assists in nine games: yikes.
- Glad to see Tom Wilson is a human trash can. Energy players can spark a team with big hits in a playoff game. But Wilson crossed the line by hitting Trevor Daley in the numbers and picking up a charging minor by hitting Jake Guentzel right in front of the benches. Let’s hope the Penguins can finish off the Captials Monday so Mr. Wilson can spend his summer in a trash can like Oscar the Grouch.