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Stanley Cup Daily 5/8: Gracious Hosts

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Visiting teams went 2-for-2, and one of those was the Caps finally finishing off their nemesis.

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Six Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.


NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (OT) (WAS wins series 4-2)

They did it. Really.

The Washington Capitals came into PPG Paints Arena with confidence after a gutsy win in a pivotal Game 5. The big news before the game was Nicklas Backstrom. The star center was rumored to be out of the game, and when he showed up to the stadium with his wrist in a soft cast, it was confirmed that he would not be able to start. In his absence, Lars Eller was bumped up to the second line and Travis Boyd came in to center the third line.

The game was not a typical clincher that we have seen from the Caps over the past decade. They came fast and determined and brought pressure from the start. Each period it felt like the Caps came out ready, but the Penguins had to get warmed up.

The Caps were first to break through, again early in a period. Just two minutes into the second period, Alex Chiasson beat Matt Murray short side on his glove side. Murray did not have a seal on the post and the puck trickled through. With an assist on the play, Nathan Walker became the first Australian born player to record a point in a playoff game.

The Penguins were able to tie the game 10 minutes later. Sidney Crosby won a faceoff back to Brian Dumoulin who slid the puck over to Kris Letang. Letang’s blast from the point deflected off a Caps player, changing directions and beating Braden Holtby.

The game could not be decided in regulation and went to an overtime period. Both teams had chances to win the game, the Pens had one ring off the post, but the Caps emerged victorious like they had in their previous two overtime games. Evgeny Kuznetsov used his speed to skate between the two Penguins defensemen and scored on a breakaway, to the delight of Caps radio man John Walton:

The Caps now advance to their first conference championship in 19 years and will face the Tampa Bay Lightning starting Friday. - Zeke Lukow


NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators 4, Winnipeg Jets 0 (Series tied 3-3)

Once again, the road team cam out victorious in this second-round series out West. The Predators went into a hostile environment and shocked a lot of people, shutting out the Jets and staying alive for a game seven on home ice. Filip Forsberg and Victor Arvidsson both netted two goals in the win, but it was Pekka Rinne who stole the show with a 34-save effort. He came up particularly huge in the first period, when the Preds again got off their discipline and took three penalties. Thankfully, a strong penalty kill and some timely stops from Rinne, the Preds survived and rode that momentum the rest of the way.

But that underplays this ridiculous Forsberg goal, which has to be seen to be believed:

Now, these two teams will go to a game seven, which is what many hoped/predicted from this series going into it. These two teams are working incredibly hard, so whoever moves on to face the Vegas Golden Knights, who are already resting up in preparation, will do so with a lot of fatigue. These past two games have been won by the road team, so the Jets will look to get that trend to continue. The Predators, on the other hand, would like to put an end to it. This game seven will be a spectacle, and the winner will likely be the odds on favorite of winning the cup. Though, the Golden Knights are on a mission to complete their Cinderella story. - Brett Finger