Steckel deflected a wrister from Laich to give the Capitals their first overtime win of the playoffs. In a game that felt like it started in slow motion, both teams started to heat up midway though the second period. The thrid period was the most intense with 4 goals being scored, the last by Crosby to force the game into overtime. For Capitals fans there had to be a collective "OH NO" when Laich was called for slashing, allowing the Penguins to go on the power play for the final 2 minutes of regulation. Washington's defense however, stood stong giving the team the chance it needed to win in overtime.
Pittsburgh again out shot the Capitals almost doubling them up, 42-24. After coming out in the first two games of the first series against the Rangers shooting anything and everything, the Capitals as a team have been cutting back on the amount of total shots. For the most part the better shot selection over shot quantity has been a success. Tonight however, was a bit scary. Looking for the perfect shot, Washington held on to the puck for too long. This was most evident when the Capitals were on the power play in the first and second periods. Able to set up in the zone, the Capitals could only muster 2 shots on goal with the man advantage.
Varlamov, although letting in 4 goals, had another solid performance. The first goal, a wrister by Bill Guerin that beat Varly's glove to the top corner is one Varly wished he had back. The last 3 however have to attributed in large part to the defense begin out of positon, on the second, and not clearing out the front of the net, on the third and fourth. For the Capitals success to continue they will need to find a way to keep their goal tender from having to make more saves (Varly had 38) than shots they produce (Caps had 24).
For those of you who listen to the podcast, you know that 3 of the D.C. Sports Guys have been in Arizona celebrating the end to TJ's single life. During this time I missed Game 4 and was only able to catch the 2nd, 3rd and overtime periods of Game 5 on TV since I was busy losing golf balls all over the Arizona desert. From what I have seen, the Captials have been slowly taking more and more ice from the Penguins. They are closing on the puck faster, and are finishing hits better. If they can continue in this direction and help out Varly on the defensive end, then they can win Game 7. I forsee another nailbiter in what has been an outstanding series.