On April 29, 1992 the Caps missed out on a chance to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Patrick Division semifinal series between the two teams, losing a 6-4 heartbreaker to the Penguins in the Steel City.
Washington held a three games to one lead in the series before the Pens forced Game 6 with a 5-2 win over Washington in Game 5 at USAir Arena.
The Pens jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the Caps and Washington netminder Don Beaupre. Kevin Stevens scored an even-strength goal at 2:48 of the first and added a power play marker at 5:05 of the opening period to give the Penguins an early advantage.
Washington answered back emphatically in the second half of the first frame, scoring three goals in a span of less than six minutes against Penguins goalie Tom Barrasso. Dale Hunter scored his first of the playoffs from Michal Pivonka at 12:30 of the first, and Peter Bondra scored his fifth of the playoffs at 15:19 to make it a 2-2 game. Calle Johansson and Todd Krygier assisted on the Bondra goal.
Exactly three minutes later, Bondra netted his second of the game on a Washington power play with Al Iafrate and Dino Ciccarelli assisting. The Caps took a 3-2 lead into the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play.
Washington padded its lead, scoring its fourth goal in succession when Iafrate tallied at 3:55 of the second, Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller assisting. But that was as good as it would get for Washington.
Joey Mullen cut the Caps’ lead to 4-3 with a goal at 9:10 of the second, and Phil Bourque tied it with a power play strike at 11:01 of the second. With just 1:41 left in the middle frame, the Capitals’ penalty killing outfit was victimized for a third time when Mario Lemieux scored his fifth goal of the series.
The Pens iced it late in the third when Lemieux scored his team’s fourth power play goal of the game to give Pittsburgh a 6-4 lead and account for the final score.
Washington dropped the series two nights later, losing a 3-1 decision. The Penguins scored 11 power play goals in the series and went on to win a second straight Stanley Cup championship.