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2009 NHL Playoffs – Round 2: Capitals Take Game 6 With 5-4 Win In OT

May 14th 2009 05:05
Facing elimination for the first time in this series, the Washington Capitals delivered a thrilling game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to defeat them on the score of 5-4 in overtime.

In the hours preceding the game, Alexander Ovechkin guaranteed that there would be a Game 7 to conclude this series. His teammates didn't seem to have received the message at the start the game since it was the Penguins who were in the lead on the score of 1-0 by the first intermission.

Overall, the game was all about momentum. After a Penguins-dominant first period, the Capitals scored twice via Kozlov and Fleischmann to grab a 2-1 lead. That one-goal lead was erased in the final minute of the period with a powerplay goal by Mark Eaton. Pittsburgh then restored their lead with another powerplay goal early in the third period via Kris Letang. One minute later, Brooks Laich tied the game also on a powerplay. Less than sixty seconds later, Kozlov scored his second of the game to put the game at 4-3. Needless to say, the match was pure madness. If you turned away from your screen even once, you were bound to miss a goal or two. As it was, I missed most of the goals between the end of the second period and the halfway point of the third because I kept flicking back and forth between the game and the House finale.

When it looked like Kozlov's second would stand as the winner, Sidney Crosby did what any captain is supposed to do: he raised his level up a notch and his tenacity allowed him to score the equalizer with five minutes to go on the clock. Both teams decided to play more cautiously at this point, avoiding to take any unnecessary risks. Yet, the game didn't drop in terms of intensity. As the Capitals probbed an hermetic defense, the Penguins stayed calm and collected, using the Capitals' tactics against them: every time a Washington defenseman stepped up at the Pens' blueline, a Pittsburgh forward would slip into the hole left by that defenseman to lead the counterattack. Although that tactic wasn't as effective in the final minutes of the game, the Capitals struggled with it all night long.

Finally, it was David Steckel who made Ovechkin's promise come true by scoring his third of the postseason in the sixth minute of overtime. The goal must have crushed the Penguins since they had managed to kill a penalty in the final two minutes of regulation. Now, it's on to Game 7 at the Verizon Center in Washington.

My 3 Stars:
3. Sidney Crosby
2. Alexander Ovechkin
1. Victor Kozlov

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