Saturday night primetime, with some carry-over viewers from the event that they call (with predictable pretentiousness) "the greatest two minutes in sports", the Washington Capitals skated into the spotlight in front of a nation expecting this team to do what they've done so often. Come up short in the Spring, allowing regular season accomplishments to do their best work at buoying postseason failure. And these expectations were foiled, and the Washington Capitals earned a chance to steal one in Pittsburgh, and ensure that this series will be decided in front of nearly 20,000 red-clad.
Now let's take a look at what worked and what didn't in Game 5.
- Braden Holtby
And another look...
This is the Holtby the Caps need to get on a nightly basis if they're gonna have any chance of getting to (and then winning) a Game 7. They got him in Game 5.
- Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals power play.
Later in the game, on another power play, it was a second Ovi-bomb from the Ovi-spot that Matt Murray couldn't handle cleanly. T.J. Oshie cleaned up the trash, and the Caps took their second lead of the game. This one they wouldn't relinquish.
- Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen versus the Crosby line
You probably can't keep the Kid this quiet for much longer, but if anyone's up to the task, Niskanen and Alzner seem like pretty good candidates, with some assistance from Monsieur Holtby.
- Hitting The Net
- John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov versus the Evgeni Malkin line