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Capitals' fast start leads to defeat of Penguins, forces Game 7

NHL news and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

The Washington Capitals raced to a five-goal lead on the strength of multipoint games from Andre Burakovsky (2-0-2), Nicklas Backstrom (1-1-2), T. J. Oshie (1-1-2) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (0-2-2) to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2, stave off elimination for the second time in the series and force Game 7.

* The Capitals came back to force Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in a best-of-7 series for the fourth time. They previously did it against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinals; against the Flyers in the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; and against the New York Rangers in the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. They are 2-1 in Game 7s after rallying from a 3-1 series deficit.

* Washington scored five goals when facing elimination for the first time since Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal against Pittsburgh in a 5-4 overtime win. Pittsburgh went on to win Game 7 of that series by a score of 6-2.

* Backstrom, who leads the Capitals with 13 points (six goals, seven assists) during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scored his 26th career playoff goal to pass Dale Hunter (25) for sole possession of third place in Capitals history.

* Burakovsky recorded the second multigoal game of his NHL playoff career and his second consecutive multipoint game; he had a goal and an assist in Game 5. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in his first 33 NHL postseason games.

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



Home Team in Caps

WASHINGTON 5, Pittsburgh 2 - series tied 3-3



Wednesday will now feature two Game 7s, with Pittsburgh visiting Washington (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN) followed by the Edmonton Oilers at the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, NBCSN):

* The Penguins will contest a Game 7 for the second straight year, after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in the 2016 Eastern Conference Final, and 16th time in franchise history. They're 8-7 in Game 7s but are 5-0 record in Game 7s on the road, including two wins in Washington, 3-1 in the 1992 Patrick Division Semifinals and 6-2 in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

* The Capitals will play a Game 7 for the 15th time and sixth time in the past six years. They are 4-10 all-time in Game 7s, with three of those victories coming at home: 5-4 in overtime against the Flyers in the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinals; 2-1 against the Rangers in the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; and 2-1 against the New York Islanders in the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round.

* The Oilers will play a Game 7 for the first time since the 2006 Stanley Cup Final at the Carolina Hurricanes, a 3-1 loss, and 10th time in franchise history. They are 6-3 in nine Game 7s, including a 3-2 mark on the road.

* The Ducks will play a Game 7 for the fifth straight year and ninth time ever. They are 2-6 record in eight previous Game 7s, including a 1-4 mark at home. Their two Game 7 victories came against the Phoenix Coyotes in the 1997 Western Conference Quarterfinals and against the Calgary Flames in the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals.



* Home teams are 97-69 (.584) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 3-2 mark in 2016.

* The team that scores first is 124-42 all-time (.747), including a 5-0 mark in 2016.

* Forty of 166 Game 7s (24.1 percent) have required overtime. Home and road teams each have 20 wins.



As part of the NHL's year-long Centennial celebration, has unveiled a century of playoff statistics, including box scores and detailed player logs from every postseason game in League history.



Capitals forward T.J. Oshie opened the scoring and added an assist to set a career playoff high with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 12 games. … Sidney Crosby recorded his 97th career playoff assist to pass Mario Lemieux for sole possession of first place on the Penguins' all-time list. … Penguins forward Jake Guentzel scored his ninth goal of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to extend his Penguins record for goals by a rookie in a single postseason. Guentzel, who has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 11 games, also tied Jaromir Jagr for most points by a Penguins rookie in a single postseason. … ICYMI: Behind-the-scenes footage of Nashville's series-clinching victory.



All Times Eastern

Ottawa @ NY Rangers, OTT leads 3-2, 7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN



The Senators, who hold a 3-2 series lead, look to reach the Eastern Conference Final for the third time (2003, 2007) when they play the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The home team has won each of the first five games in the series, including two overtime victories by the Senators. Both clubs are captained by defensemen who lead their respective team in points: The Senators' Erik Karlsson has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in 11 games, which leads all NHL defensemen in the postseason, and the Rangers' Ryan McDonagh, who has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 11 games.

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