NHL Burakovsky at the double as Caps down Penguins to tie series

NHL Burakovsky at the double as Caps down Penguins to tie series

FILE - This April 28, 2010 file photo shows Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, of Slovakia, celebrating the team's 2-1 win as Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russian Federation, skates off after Game 7 of the.

The NHL's concussion protocols are under fire after Sydney Crosby took a nasty spill into the boards and was not removed from the game for evaluation during the Pittsburgh Penguins' Game 6 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Andre Burakovsky scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom got his sixth of the playoffs and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Monday night to force a Game 7 in their taut Eastern Conference semifinal.

In order for the Penguins to win Game 7, they will have to come out with the same fire the Capitals brought out for Games 6 and 7; Sullivan will demand nothing less.

TURRIS TIME: Ottawa Senators Game 5 star Kyle Turris became the seventh player in National Hockey League history to score three overtime winners in his first 40 Stanley Cup playoff games.

Now the NHL's highest-scoring offense finds itself heading to Wednesday night's Game 7 looking to regain its swagger in time to prevent the kind of collapse that usually befalls their longtime rivals this time of year.

"You have to be ready when the puck drops", NY wing Jesper Fastsaid.

Raising Awareness for Mental Health Month
Recently, there has been more public awareness regarding mental health issues and an attempt to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

"We're going to see, for the first time in this series, that Pittsburgh has their back against the wall as well", says Caps coach Barry Trotz.

Perhaps Crosby just fell a little awkwardly and was winded. That said, the Penguins were still trailing only 2-0 entering the third period, but didn't get any sustained pressure until the Capitals opened up a 5-0 lead. Washington went 2 for 4 on the power play. The last time the Capitals came back from a 3-1 series deficit to win a postseason series was in 2009 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Pittsburgh registered just one shot in the first 17 minutes of Game 6, that one a 136-foot knuckler on a clear by defenseman Brian Dumoulin that just happened to make its way to Washington goaltender Braden Holtby. Facing elimination and with everyone already chalking this series up as yet another playoff failure for the Caps, Washington had nothing to lose in Games 5 and 6. He reunited the "HBK" line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel that worked so well during last spring's Cup run and the trio responded by generating one shot on goal.

Crosby practiced without complications with the Penguins on Tuesday. Though "HBK" was hardly the only group that had issues. Anyone who watched Crosby go headfirst into the boards late in the first period of Game 6 against the Washington Capitals had a hard time understanding how the concussion spotters, both at the PPG Paints Arena and in the player safety room in NY, could not have immediately ordered him off the Penguins' bench and off the ice for further observation. He didn't miss a shift.

The Capitals are battling history and bad omens. Now they're doing neither. "The last two games they have dominated". Save for a couple of tight saves in the middle of Game 5 that kept the Capitals within striking distance, Holtby has rarely been tested.

"Backstrom is one of those guys who I think is one of the most underrated players in the National Hockey League", Trotz said. "But you have to give Washington credit too".

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