Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 6
Date and Time: Monday, May 8, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
NHL Playoff Odds
Capitals vs. Penguins Game 6 TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network
Barry Trotz deserves a lot of credit for at least trying something different for Game 5. Alexander Ovechkin has been a mainstay for the Caps for years and years, but Trotz stuck him on the third line on Saturday. He responded with one of the biggest goals of his career, scoring Washington's fourth of the night and third in a span of less than five minutes in the third period to take a 2-1 deficit and turn it into a 4-2 victory.
Pittsburgh will likely be kicking itself for letting this one get away. The Penguins have been beaten up through these playoffs, and you can bet that they would have loved nothing more than three or four straight days off to get ready for the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, they're back on the ice after blowing that 2-1 lead, though they should be thrilled with the fact that they have hardly trailed over the course of the entire series. Pittsburgh has to think that this series is still there for the taking, especially with Sidney Crosby back from his concussion that cost him Game 4.
17.6 percent – Pittsburgh's power play percentage here in this series against the Capitals.
It's a relatively small sample set with just 17 attempts at the power play over the course of the first five games, but the fact of the matter is that the Penguins just haven't looked quite as sharp for the most part on the man advantage as they did against Columbus when they went 5-for-15 with an extra attacker.
However, we did see a moment of sheer brilliance in Game 5 when Phil Kessel scored a beauty from the short post in a bit of a tic-tac-toe sort of action with Evgeni Malkin and Crosby. When these three are on their game together, Pittsburgh has an incredibly tough offense to try to stop, and with the ability to play all three on the same front if necessary in even strength situations, that could create some big problems for the Capitals now that they're on the road and have to make the first change in Game 6.
Capitals vs. Penguins Game 6 Free Picks
Is this time finally different for the Capitals? They've come so close so many times to getting over the hump, but they still haven't been able to ultimately figure out how to get to the Stanley Cup Finals in the Ovie era. The Russian did play well on the third line in Game 5, particularly in that third period, and we have to think that he's staying there for this game, at least at the outset as well.
Just maybe, Washington can figure out how to eke this one out. The team has to stay out of the penalty box as much as possible, and it has to build upon that huge effort in the third that helped it win Game 5. Anything is possible in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that might mean that anything is possible for the Caps as well. We'll take them to force this series back to the Verizon Center for what will be one of the most highly anticipated Game 7s in recent memory on the ice.
Capitals vs. Penguins Game 6 Pick: Back the Caps at BookMaker.eu
Capitals vs. Penguins Game 6 Score Prediction: Capitals 3, Penguins 2