Every day during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.
Washington Capitals 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (Series tied 3-3)
So, uh, it happened. The Pittsburgh Penguins, after seeming like world-beaters in the first half of this series, have given up their 3-1 series lead, culminating in their 5-2 drubbing by the Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena in Game 6.
From the first drop of the puck, it was the Caps' night. They carried over their stellar play from the third period of Game 5 and immediately took control in the form of a T.J. Oshie snipe on the power play for his first goal of the series. The Pens fought hard to stay in the game, though the first period ended with the lone Caps goal. During the opening frame, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, playing in his second game after returning from yet another concussion, took an awkward fall headfirst into the boards, but stayed in the game without being subsequently tested for a concussion.
Oh god Sid oh god Sid oh god Sid pic.twitter.com/GbwXd7HJ3t— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 9, 2017
Six and a half minutes into the second period, Washington struck again. Andre Burakovsky stripped the puck from Ron Hainsey along the boards and walked in on Marc-Andre Fleury, beating him with a patient shot from in close that squeaked through the netminder's arm and into the net for a 2-0 Washington lead — the only goal of the night that didn't beat Fleury high-glove. A soft goal after several games of phenomenal play from Fleury seemed to deflate both him and his teammates, and Washington carried play for the remainder of the second.
Down by two goals heading into a third period on home ice with a chance to win the series, one may have expected a strong push back from the Penguins. But before most fans even had time to get back to their seats, Nicklas Backstrom brought the lead to 3-0 just 16 seconds in. And like they did in Game 5, the Caps poured it on. A John Carlson blast 10 minutes later and another Burakovsky tally just a minute after that had Washington up 5-0 and Pens fans heading for the exits with eight minutes to go. Those who left missed their side ruining Braden Holtby's shutout bid with goals from Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin 52 seconds apart, but it was too little too late as the Capitals continued building momentum towards a Game 7 in Verizon Center.
Braden Holtby picked up 16 saves on 18 shots in the win, while Marc-Andre Fleury took the loss and stopped 21 of 26. Game 7 will take place back in Washington on Wednesday night. -Peter Dewar
Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers (Senators lead 3-2)
7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Finish the Job: Despite being the higher seed and having a lead in the series, the Senators give the impression that they’re hanging on just to get the series to this point. Their Game 5 overtime win came after they erased Rangers leads twice, and had Michael Grabner’s stick been an inch or two lower in overtime it would be New York with the chance to clinch on home ice tonight instead. The Sens still have two chances to move on, but they will want to do so tonight instead of taking their chances in a Game 7 where anything can happen.
- Big Bank Hank: Much had been said before this series’ first trip to Madison Square Garden last week about Henrik Lundqvist’s apparent decline and whether the Rangers could compensate for their goaltender’s play in the first two games. All Lundqvist did was go on to stop 48 of 50 shots in the two games on Broadway, and he now holds a 4-1 record at home in the 2017 postseason while not allowing more than one goal in any of the wins. Another night like that and the King will take his entourage right back up to Ottawa on Thursday.
- Heavy Artillery: This series has been defined by the secondary scorers for each team. Oskar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Grabner, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are among the unlikely names atop the stat sheet through five games. Meanwhile, languishing near the bottom are the likes of Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and Derick Brassard. If either team can get a boost from the guys they would normally count on to carry the mail, their chances of winning tonight will go way up. -Brian LeBlanc