The Caps had their most impressive performance of the postseason with a 5-2 Game 6 win in Pittsburgh and now the series is all tied up! Here are three key observations from the game.
1. Andre Burakovsky is taking full advantage of his promotion to the top line
Burakovsky made Barry Trotz look smart for moving him to the top line for Game 5 with a goal and an assist. Burakovsky made Trotz look like a genius in Game 6 by adding another two goals. After being held scoreless in the first 10 games of the playoffs, he now has three goals in his past two games.
2. Penalties could have cost Caps
If the Penguins were going to get back into this game it would have been because of the penalties. Washington only took three penalties on the night, but they were unnecessary and came at bad times. Up 1-0 in the first period, Pittsburgh had absolutely nothing going for them. Then Evgeny Kuznetsov slashed Evgeni Malkin as he was skating away from the net. No need for that. Up 2-0 in the second, again, Burakovsky was called for hooking. If Pittsburgh scores on either penalty, this is a completely different game.
3. Let’s never play 4-on-4 ever again
The Caps have not been a good 4-on-4 team all season long. They did not even score a 4-on-4 goal all season until the playoffs. At the end of this game, cruising to a 5-0 win, Washington allowed two late goals to Pittsburgh. Yes, the result was no longer in doubt. Yes, the Caps had taken their foot off the gas. No, I do not think this gives Pittsburgh momentum going into Game 7 (they just lost 5-2!). The only takeaway here is that Washington needs to avoid 4-on-4 at all costs.
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