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5 reasons why the Capitals will finally advance to conference final
20 May 2017, 02:45 | Pamela Mathis
This year's Penguins-Capitals Game 5 was up 4% vs. the same series' Game 5 last year (Total Audience Deliver of 4.187 million), which also aired after the Kentucky Derby.
If you watched Game 6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals' second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series Monday, you could have guessed that Pens captain Sidney Crosby might have sustained a concussion after going head-first into the boards.
Jake Guentzel picked up his playoff-leading ninth goal and Evgeni Malkin added another late in the third period to make the score look cosmetically better, but the Penguins were never in it. More importantly, they limited Pittsburgh's counter attack game until permitting a pair of four-on-four goals in the game's waning minutes.
"It's right where we want it right now", veteran center Nicklas Backstrom said. "It gives us a little bit more confidence". That's not insignificant, but it's nothing next to the TV audience (4.330 million viewers and a 2.38 household rating).
Meanwhile, Crosby has found himself in the center of controversy, as some wondered why he was allowed to continue to play after he crashed headfirst into the boards Monday, soon after suffering a concussion in Game 3.
After the game, Crosby said he was evaluated for a concussion, saying, "Yep. We take away the things we did really well tonight - which was getting pucks deep, blocking shots and getting pucks out when [the Penguins] were pinching - and take it into the next game, and improve on some other areas".
The biggest change you can see is the reuniting of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, and Phil Kessel, otherwise known as the HBK line.
Crosby said, "Yep. Yeah".
Uh, maybe it's just me but it seems like taking a heavy blow to the head should be a predictor of concussions, regardless of what causes the blow.
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The NHL's "Concussion Evaluation and Management Protocol" is a seven-page document issued before this season that provides requirements for each club pertaining to each player.
Crosby played in Game 6 of a second-round matchup with the Washington Capitals on Monday and colliding head-first with the boards behind the Washington net in the first period.
Fleury is going to have come up big against the NHL's most risky offense one more time and the blue line will have to learn from its Game 6 mistakes and be more careful with the puck.
Backed up to the precipice against a rival that's tormented them for decades, the Capitals finally punched back. What they were doing wasn't working.
For a Game 7 of this magnitude, there's no telling what product each team will put on the ice. Just as troubling as the lack of pucks they've sent Holtby's way over the last two games is where those pucks have come from. Facing elimination and with everyone already chalking this series up as yet another playoff failure for the Caps, Washington had nothing to lose in Games 5 and 6. So I think we were probably guilty of making a few mistakes early on and then probably chasing our mistakes after that.
Game 7 may be the most exciting phrase in sports to a lot of people.
"We've got to be pretty mature about this", Oshie said. Crosby passed baseline concussion testing in time to return for Saturday's Game 5.
Obviously theres more at stake when its the final game, said Carlyle, who won the Cup in 2007 but hasnt won a Game 7 since 2006. These are the games in which they live to play.
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