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game recap

Capitals win Game 5, extend series with Penguins

Washington forces Game 6 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- After practice Friday, the Washington Capitals had a meeting and talked about the situation they were in: one loss from elimination in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They realized their season could be over and decided to not let it end.

The Capitals kept it alive with a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center on Saturday.

"We all got together after practice and just talked about it. And we just learned that we're really, really tight," Washington defenseman Karl Alzner said. "No one wants to be finished playing right now. And I think you're going to see probably the best hockey that this team's played this year."

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm 5: Ovechkin fires a one-timer for PPG

Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams scored for Washington, which trails the best-of-7 series 3-2 and will try to extend it again by winning Game 6 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

"We didn't want to give up," Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter what kind of position we are [in]. We knew we have to do it. Forget it and next one is a big one, I think, with our team and with our group. We can't stop."

Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh, which had won three in a row. This was the first game in the series decided by more than one goal.

"We'll put the game behind us, but nothing is easy," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "This is a hard league. It's hard to win. We're playing against a really good team. We think we're a really good team. But as far as the game is concerned, for us we [have to] have a short memory."

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Oshie buries home rebound for PPG

Ovechkin gave Washington a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:04 of the first period. Oshie won the faceoff and kept the play alive during a commotion in front of Penguins goalie Matt Murray. Nicklas Backstrom intercepted the puck and passed to Ovechkin, waiting at the top of the left circle.

The goal was Washington's second on 13 power plays during the series. Ovechkin has five goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Our team has had success because we've had discipline and playing the game the right way," Sullivan said. "When you play a team like Washington that has a power play as good as it is, you can't give it an opportunity to be the difference."

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Kunitz buries home rebound for PPG

Kunitz tied it 1-1 at 7:08 with a power-play goal, the first for Pittsburgh in 15 second-round opportunities. Phil Kessel put a shot on net that was blocked by goalie Braden Holtby but trickled down his pads. Kunitz tipped in the loose puck for his first goal of the playoffs.

Oshie scored Washington's second power-play goal of the game 4:00 into the second period for a 2-1 lead. John Carlson at the point found Ovechkin in his spot at the hash marks, and he sent a line drive toward the net. Oshie tipped the shot for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Williams scored at 9:58 of the second period to give Washington a 3-1 lead. A turnover by Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin ended up on the stick of Williams, who scored from the slot. His shot trickled through Murray's legs and past the goal line for his second of the postseason.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Williams converts turnover into goal

Washington, the Presidents' Trophy winner, had lost five of seven games since leading the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 in the first round.

The Capitals in Game 6 will get back defenseman Brooks Orpik from a three-game suspension levied for a hit on Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta in Game 2.

"He's going to bring a lot to our team," Holtby said. "But he's also one of the guys who has instilled in us to have confidence in our team no matter who is out there. That shows the leadership he brings and we feed off that."

Video: Caps stave off elimination with 3-1 victory over Pens

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