Skip to Main Content
game recap

Capitals defeat Penguins in Game 5 to stay alive

Washington scores three times in third period; Sidney Crosby has assist for Pittsburgh

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals scored three goals in the third period, including two in 27 seconds, to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 and avoid elimination in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center on Saturday.

Washington trails the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin scored at 7:20 and 7:47 of the third period to give Washington a 4-2 lead. 

Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom scored, and Braden Holtby made 20 saves for the Capitals, who have won two of the past three games.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Penguins highlights | RELATED: Complete Washington vs. Pittsburgh series coverage]


"I thought all of them responded," Trotz said. "I mean, those are our key contributors for us. I was hoping to get some scoring out of Burakovsky; we got that. It was more of our lineup that we were getting contributions, and that has been the success that we had during the regular season."

Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for the Penguins, who led 1-0 and 2-1. Center Sidney Crosby returned after missing Game 4 with a concussion sustained in Game 3.

Backstrom tied the game 2-2 at 2:49 of the third period.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Ovechkin strikes on second effort

Kessel's power-play goal gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead at 4:20 of the second. Crosby had an assist. 

"They just got some momentum," Crosby said. "We had our chances to build on that lead. We didn't, and then they tie it up and get some life off that and then gained some momentum there for a short span. You're going to lose momentum sometimes. Unfortunately we gave up some goals in the process of that."

Burakovsky tied it 1-1 with his first goal of this postseason with 30 seconds left in the first period, after Hagelin scored his first at 10:24 to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Fleury extends to rob Eller with pad


Goal of the game

Kuznetsov got to a loose puck down low and scored from a tight angle to give the Capitals the lead.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Kuznetsov scores from a sharp angle


Save of the game

Holtby gloved Bonino's chance from the slot early in the third period to keep it 2-2.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Holtby knocks away Bonino's wrister


Highlight of the game

Evgeni Malkin passed to Kessel, who scored with a short-side one-timer.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Kessel rips a one-timer for PPG


Unsung performance of the game

Kevin Shattenkirk's drop pass to Burakovsky led to Washington's first goal and extended the defenseman's point streak to three games.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Burakovsky toe drags, buries wrister


They said it

"I think none of us were proud of last game. Shake things up, there's a lot made of [Ovechkin], but he can play different roles. I think him and Tom [Wilson] together, especially and Lars [Eller] dogging the puck, that's an effective line. I don't think that's a demotion, I think that's making our team better." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on Alex Ovechkin playing this game on the third line


"It's amazing. That's just what we need in these tight games. We need our best players to step up and do the hard work and be the difference-makers. I think that's what they were tonight." -- Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky


"I mean, we don't want to sit back. I don't think we did. We've got to do a better job executing, especially with the lead. Like I said, we had some chances there. I think if we can hold onto the puck in there end a little bit more, we should get more shots. I think we'll generate a little bit more from that. Just being a little bit better in the offensive zone." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby


Need to know

Crosby's assist on Kessel's goal was his 96th in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which tied Mario Lemieux for the Penguins record. … Ovechkin has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 19 elimination games. … The Capitals have won Game 6 in four of the past five series they have trailed 3-2.


What's next

Game 6 of Eastern Conference Second Round at PPG Paints Arena on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports)


Video: Three-goal 3rd sends Caps past Pens in Game 5, 4-2

View More