After trailing 3-1 in their second-round playoff series, the Washington Capitals have won back-to-back games, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in Game 5 on Saturday and 5-2 in Game 6 on Monday. Heck, Washington led 5-0 midway through the third period in Game 6.
The series is now tied at 3-3, with Game 7 slated for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“You saw this coming (in the) third period of (Game 5),” NHL.com writer Mike Morreale said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench, referring to the Caps’ comeback. “It just seemed to me the Capitals dominated that period, they were able to escape with the victory, (Braden) Holtby played his best game of the series and it just kind of carried over to the first period (of Game 6).”
The Caps outshot the Pens 11-3 in the first period Monday and kept Pittsburgh on its heels.
“No quality chances for the Pens. The Caps took control of the game,” Morreale said. “Sid (Sidney Crosby) was taking a beating, too. Lineups weren’t a problem here. I know some of the Penguin fans might complain, ‘Why are you mixing it up? What was Mike Sullivan doing?’ But the problem was the Penguins couldn’t contain the Caps. The Caps met the test in the third period of Game 5, and they met the test in the first period of Game 6. The Pens need to reset and prepare for Game 7 in Washington.”
With a win in Game 7, Washington can advance past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997-98.
“They have the momentum in their corner,” Morreale said. “The Penguins need to get their mojo back, which they have obviously lost here.”
Morreale believes Washington will won on its home ice to advance.
“If the Capitals were going to lose this series, it would have been in that Game 5,” he said. “I think the fact that they stuck together, they showed a lot of character coming back – their big players came up big. That’s what we were all waiting to see. I do believe the Caps now have that mojo back.”