Capitals top Penguins, force Game 7

In the offseason, the NHL announced an expansion to its concussion spotters program to include "a new staff of Central League Spotters [that] will monitor all games from the Player Safety Room in New York" in addition to those already in place at league arenas, hired locally by the home team to work games.

"They're Stanley Cup champions for a reason".

Beating the Penguins emphatically 5-2 in Game 6 in Pittsburgh is why Boudreau believes the Capitals will win Game 7. 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.

"We need to get more zone time", Crosby said.

The Washington Capitals have spent the last two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins crawling out from a 3-1 deficit.

More than that, it may well have marked a shift in how freely the Caps are playing.

This is the 10th time the Penguins and Capitals have hooked up in the playoffs, with the Penguins winning eight of the previous nine series.

"I mean, there shouldn't be any wondering about it", Crosby said.

He didn't. His teammates noticed and the Capitals responded with back-to-back wins, extending the best-of-7 series.

The Capitals weren't going to be denied a Game 6, though, not on that night.

"You have to be ready when the puck drops", NY wing Jesper Fastsaid. Four of the team's five goals were in the slot, no higher than the face off dots, pushing the high-danger save percentage of Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury down to.791 in the series.

What a role reversal. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom have been excellent in the series. But consider the intricacies of this series, the factors that set up Game 7.

Monday night Crosby said he was evaluated by team doctors after the first period, but in a postgame press conference, Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby was not evaluated for a concussion. Home teams don't have almost the same success in the National Hockey League in game sevens as they do in the NBA, but Washington has to have far more confidence over Pittsburgh with the way the last two games played out. And the Pens' frustrations with Washington's physicality - and not necessarily the "dirty" kind - revealed themselves late, symbolized by a retaliatory Matt Cullen slash that preceded two quick insurance goals by the Caps. "You talk to the doctor". In the losses, Fleury best save percentage came in game 3 when he posted a 90.9 save percentage. In just over 48 hours, the Capitals went from being 20 minutes away from the end of their season to forcing a seventh and deciding game in Washington. The Penguins reconfigured their lines, reuniting the HBK line of LW Carl Hagelin, C Nick Bonino and RW Phil Kessel that was highly effective a year ago in the playoffs. He shows up for every big moment. Is this version any different?

"It gives us a little bit more confidence", Oshie said. "They're going to bring it". If not, it will be another year where Ovechkin is spending his spring playing for a gold in the world championship rather than a Stanley Cup.

This is the fourth time the Penguins and Capitals will meet in a Game 7.

But now that they have, we finally have ourselves a series. Streaming's becoming an important part of the picture, and it's definitely nice for sports networks that it's being counted more effectively these days, but it's still rather a drop in the bucket next to TV.

Wednesday, they get another chance.

Do superstar players get treated differently?