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game recap

Capitals coast to Game 6 win against Penguins, extend series

Andre Burakovsky scores twice to help Washington get back-to-back victories

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Washington Capitals had controlled much of the play throughout the Eastern Conference Second Round, and on Monday it finally resulted in a lopsided victory.

Andre Burakovsky scored twice to help the Capitals defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 in Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena.

"I think everything comes with confidence," said Burakovsky, who has three goals in the past two games. "During these whole [Stanley Cup Playoffs], I think I've been creating so many chances."

 

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

 

The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3 with Game 7 at Washington on Wednesday. The Capitals would like to repeat their performance from Monday, when they outshot the Penguins 26-18 and 16-9 through the first two periods.

The Capitals have won the past two games after falling behind 3-1 in the series.

"We're having fun now," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "I think the fun part has been the obstacle. The obstacle has been a good team in Pittsburgh."

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Trotz on his team's play in 5-2 victory

T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson also scored, and Braden Holtby made 16 saves for the Capitals. Holtby has allowed fewer than three goals in three of his past four games.

"We had some success offensively for sure and that's good," Holtby said. "The best thing about this game is we came and did what we wanted to do. Now it's shifting our focus to Game 7."

Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for the Penguins.

Oshie gave Washington a 1-0 lead on its second power play of the first period with his first goal of the series. Backstrom passed to Evgeny Kuznetsov along the goal line, where he tapped a pass to Oshie, who dropped to one knee and one-timed a shot past Fleury at 12:41.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Oshie finishes tic-tac-toe PPG

The Capitals outshot the Penguins 11-3 in the first.

"I think it's frustrating when you have an opportunity like this to win a game and win a series at home and you don't play the way that you'd like," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "You can get frustrated. So, there was a little bit of frustration, but I thought we talked about making sure that we grab a hold of ourselves, stay focused and just try to play the game the right way."

Burakovsky scored to make it 2-0 6:36 into the second period. Before his goal in Game 5, Burakovsky had not scored in his first 10 games of the playoffs.

Backstrom, who has four goals in his past five games, made it 3-0 16 seconds into the third period.

Carlson extended the lead to 4-0 on a power-play goal with 8:43 remaining and Burakovsky scored his second goal to push it to 5-0 with 7:31 left.

Sidney Crosby set up Guentzel for his ninth goal of the playoffs to make it 5-1 with 3:22 remaining before Malkin cut it to 5-2 with 2:30 left.

 

Goal of the game

After stripping Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey of the puck, Burakovsky turned toward Fleury and went on a 2-on-1 with Oshie facing Pittsburgh defenseman Ian Cole. Burakovsky shot off Fleury's right side for Washington's second goal.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Burakovsky capitalizes on turnover

 

Save of the game

Fleury kept the Capitals from stretching their lead to 4-0 on a power play early in the third period. Alex Ovechkin received a pass near the left post and one-timed an attempt on goal, but Fleury slid over to make the save at 4:57.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Fleury stands strong to deny Ovechkin

 

Highlight of the game

Backstrom turned another Penguins turnover into a 2-on-1 shortly after the third period began. He chose to keep the puck, instead of passing to Burakovsky, and shot into the upper-right corner of Pittsburgh's net.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm6: Backstrom goes top shelf to pad lead

 

Unsung performance of the game

Capitals forward Tom Wilson had two blocked shots and five hits in 15:16 of ice time, including 2:53 shorthanded to help kill three Pittsburgh power plays.

 

They said it

"Our goal is to win this series, so we knew we had to play our best game tonight to force a Game 7. Anything can happen, but we're right where we want to be right now." -- Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom

 

"It's fine. We're still in the same spot. We just need one more win. That's the good thing about it. It's a good thing we got ourselves a lead there [in the series] and are able to still be in the race to beat them." -- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury

 

Need to know

The Capitals have outshot the Penguins 200-133 this series. … The Penguins are 5-0 all-time in Game 7 on the road. Crosby got his 97th Stanley Cup Playoff assist to pass Mario Lemieux for first in Pittsburgh history. Malkin leads the NHL with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) this postseason. The Penguins reunited the "HBK Line" of center Nick Bonino, left wing Carl Hagelin and right wing Phil Kessel but broke up the line by the end of the game, moving Kessel back to right wing next to Malkin.

 

What's next

Game 7 of Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Capitals force Game 7 with 5-2 win against Penguins

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