Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 5/10/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Lynette Rowe
May 19, 2017

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan stands behind, from left, Nick Bonino, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz during the third period of Game 6 of Pittsburgh and Washington's Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal series. If Matt Murray were healthy, he would be replacing Fleury for Game 7. The Predators will face either the Anaheim Ducks or Edmonton Oilers for the right to come out of the West.

The Capitals hope to change that Wednesday night when they host the Penguins in the seventh and deciding game of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The first time Crosby and Ovechkin met in a Game 7 was May 13, 2009, a 6-2 Penguins victory at Washington's Verizon Center.

On a night when the Penguins needed to come out and control play in the offensive zone, they failed to register a shot in the first half of the period, finished the period with only three shots on net total and of those three, two were pucks launched from the blue line that happened to be on net. Cole registered a minus-3 rating, while Hainsey had a giveaway in the second period that resulted in Andre Burakovsky's goal that put the Capitals up 2-0. The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost four straight games when allowing more than two goals. It's also better than any team in the National Basketball Association or Major League Baseball.

What Pittsburgh should not be concerned about is playing in a Game 7. "Now it boils down to one". "You've got an opportunity to win a game like this and win a series at home. If we don't hold serve, then it's not what we're looking for".

Boudreau, who is 1-7 in his National Hockey League coaching career in Game 7 after success in that spot in the minors, thinks goaltending will be the difference. "We just got to go win one game in Washington". I mean, I just got tripped up there going pretty fast and went into the boards pretty awkwardly. "You're not going to win every one". But I thought our game was really, really quite good in both those Game 7s.”. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was busier, stopping 21 of 26 Washington shots.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins spent the better part of five games exploiting the few chances the Washington Capitals gave them, focusing on generating quality scoring chances while the Presidents' Trophy winners seemed more intent on quantity. They looked exhausted, disinterested, they were flat-footed, they turned the puck over... all of the things that won them the Stanley Cup (and a Game 6 versus the Capitals a year ago) they suddenly quit doing.

This is the 10th Game 7 in 15 playoff series during the Alex Ovechkin era.

After missing a single game following yet another concussion, Sidney Crosby went headfirst into the boards and was slow to rise on Monday.

The NHL's concussion protocol does not stipulate a certain amount of days a player must sit out after being diagnosed.

But still, fans and the media continue to question why he wasn't pulled from the game and checked out.

"I think it was fairly tight", Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby said. I think what you're talking about is the difference between checking with a doctor and entering the concussion protocol. Now, though, credit must be granted to Trotz, who made what could have been seen as a panic move with his team trailing three games to one - dropping Ovechkin, the best player in the franchise's history, to the third line while bumping Burakovsky up to play with Backstrom, even though Burakovsky had done nothing to earn a promotion.

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