Washington Capitals - Pittsburgh Penguins Eastern Conference Semifinals: Game 6 preview
The Capitals celebrated a goal on Saturday night. (Capitals.nhl.com)

Washington Capitals - Pittsburgh Penguins Eastern Conference Semifinals: Game 6 preview

The Washington Capitals were able to fight off elimination in game 5 after they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Braden Holtby was huge given up just one goal on 31 shots.

norman-tall
Norman Tall

For the second consecutive game, the Washington Capitals will look to stave off elimination against the Pittsburgh Penguins as they meet in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. These two clubs will do battle at the Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night where the puck is set to be dropped at 8:00 PM EST. 

Ovechkin, Capitals get back into series force game 6

The Capitals, led by captain Alex Ovechkin, defeated the Penguins 3-1 in game 5. Ovechkin had been silent for much of the series as he was only able to muster a goal and an assist in the first four games of the series. Ovechkin changed all of that on Saturday night. Facing elimination, Ovechkin came up clutch scoring the opening goal and later assisting on the second goal. He also blocked a shot and had three hits. The Capitals looked much more lively and energetic from the start after looking sluggish and falling behind early in the previous two games.

Players to watch

Braden Holtby, goaltender, Capitals

The Vezina finalist has been sharp for much of this series.  (Getty Images)

Braden Holtby has been an absolute rock this entire season. In game five the likely Vezina trophy winner had 30 saves on 31 shots and had a few incredible saves as well. Nearing the conclusion of the second period Holtby robbed Justin Schultz with a leaping glove save. The Caps will need Holtby to continue his stellar play if they want to bring the series back to D.C on Thursday night. The Capitals have relied on Holtby a lot throughout this season and into the post season and in game 6 they will need him more then ever.

Patric Hornqvist, winger, Penguins

Hornqvist was dominant until late into game five. ( Getty Images North America)

Patric Hornqvist was great for the Penguins in games 3 and 4. He had a few points including the winning over time goal in game 4 of the series. But something was clearly off in game 5. With the Penguins down by two goals for the third period, Horqvist played just two shifts. After the game Pens coach Mike Sullivan was asked if Hornqvist got injured.  

No, we just shortened the bench. We were trying to climb back into it. We went with the guys we thought were going and had some energy. So we tweaked the lines a little bit.”

It is still not known right now what is happening with Hornqvist but the Penguins will need his offensive skill if they want to defeat the Capitals in game 6. 

Prediction

This game should follow the instructions of what every other game in this series has been thus far; tough, physical hockey. The Capitals offense looked sharp and dangerous in game 5 and the Penguins suffered multiple defensive breakdowns. The Penguins should come out much more quick and effective in game 6 as they will look to wrap up the series in front of their home fans. Unfortunately that won't happen. The Capitals played there best game of the playoffs in game 5 and will look to repeat that performance in game 6. If the Capitals can come up with a clutch offensive performance as well as a dominant display from Holtby, the Capitals will bring this series back to D.C for a game 7.

Capitals 4, Penguins 2 

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