Through the first four games of the series, Washington had only managed to beat Fleury nine times on 142 shots. Brian Dumoulin, who has been playing over twenty minutes per game, is most likely playing hurt.
Crosby told reporters after the game the hit "kind of knocked the wind out of me" but claimed he was otherwise fine. "This is exactly it".
The Capitals' disappointing playoff history has been a favorite narrative in this series, especially given the opponent, but now they have a chance to exorcise past memories with a comeback from a three-games-to-one deficit.
Then, later in the game, he did battle with Beagle in front of the Caps' goal.
"[Saturday] night we had all of our leaders stepping up as a group, and not just one or two but the whole group stepping forward and it brought everybody behind them with them", Trotz said Sunday. The Pittsburgh Penguins may do the same before Monday night's critical Game 6 - including the potential reunion of one of the team's most beloved trios of last year's Stanley Cup run.
Ovechkin was moved to the third line and Burakovsky was moved to the first line. When an early Capitals power play went nowhere and Hagelin made it 1-0 Pittsburgh 10:24 in, it got quiet fast - except for Penguins fans' derisive chants of "HOLT-BY, HOLT-BY". That unit played well together and brought a physicality to the rink that would be useful against teams such as the Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets. "Everybody concentrate. That's what we need".
The Capitals were also better about handling the Penguins' shot-block-heavy approach.
Then again, neither did any of his teammates as Washington dominated on both ends of the ice.More news: Warriors move on with a sweep of the Trail Blazers
In a quirky twist, the Capitals often have cited a failure to compete for all 60 minutes as a reason for their three losses in the second-round series.
"It's nearly the opposite of what you think about when it comes to a playoff game", Alzner said.
The Senators fired 15 shots in the opening period after finishing with just 23 total in Game 4.
The Capitals have spent the better part of the season insisting this time, things will be different. And two, it gets the goalie into it a little bit more when they're feeling that many pucks and they're making saves that aren't necessarily tough saves all of the time.
"Just see how the day goes and see how I feel and go from there", Sheary said. It seems to get their head into it. "So I think that's where his defensive game - obviously, I don't think he's that much better of a skater now than he was three years ago, but I think he knows how to use it. Defensively, he's definitely gotten a lot better". I'm a player that should produce, and I haven't done that this series. "It turns our mind around...and we start believing and we start to play the way we're capable".
Capitals coach Barry Trotz used that specific "HBK Line" example after Game 5 in explaining his decision to put Ovechkin with third-line center Lars Eller.
Crosby had an assist in his first game back and felt good, but the Penguins couldnt handle the Capitals quick-strike offense in the third period that has made this series between the NHLs top two teams even more interesting.
Holding two-goal leads in the postseason has been a tenuous proposition at best, with 13 times teams letting them away so far in the postseason.