Capitals top Penguins, force Game 7

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Crosby wasn't eligible to be pulled from Monday's Game 6 by concussion spotters after crashing into the endboards in the first period due to a technicality in the league's concussion protocol that allows for automatic removal only if a player's head strikes the ice or another player, USA TODAY Sports reports.

The Washington Capitals, once down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Pittsburgh Penguins, went into Pittsburgh and routed the Pens 5-2 to tie the series at 3-3 and force a game seven on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh's Petr Nedved won with a shot in the fourth overtime that could have been called "Easter Epic 2.0".

Two wins in elimination games later, and the Capitals have pushed all of that pressure back onto the Penguins. As per NBC, that's the most-watched early-round Stanley Cup Playoff game in people meter history, which dates back to 1993.

"I think we regroup", says Caps right wing T.J. Oshie, of the team's mindset heading into Game 7.

"It gives us a little bit more confidence", Oshie said.

I would tend to believe that the treatment for concussions would be a little more advanced and the idea of preventing future occurrences would be a priority. Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik played for the Penguins that night.

It came on the Senators' second shot on goal of the game and marked the first time Ottawa scored first in the series.

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Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel picked up his playoff-leading ninth goal and Evgeni Malkin added another 52 seconds later late in the third period to make the score look cosmetically better.

"We're still down", said Ovechkin, who has 12 goals, 26 points in 18 career playoff games against the Penguins, including two goals, five points this series. In the postseason, Kessel played right wing with center Nick Bonino and left wing Carl Hagelin. Though "HBK" was hardly the only group that had issues.

Crosby crashed headfirst into the boards in the first period of Monday night's Game 6 loss to the Capitals.

"I think we were probably guilty of making a few mistakes early on and then probably chasing our mistakes after that", said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who had an assist in 20 minutes but was largely a nonfactor in his second game back after missing Game 4 with a concussion. He didn't miss a shift. "You're going to see their best game, their most desperate game of the series". The Penguins were 0 for 3. Now they're doing neither. It's just a round two match up.

"I've played with everyone but Sid and Geno this year". That's okay if you're ahead, but it is hard to come back from when trailing especially given Washington's overwhelming shot advantage.

On Monday morning, it was Oshie who was particularly vocal about this game marking an opportunity for Washington to get a "do-over" and show this isn't the same team that annually falls short of the conference final.

"If you look at the games, even if it was 3-1 to them, I thought we actually played better than the results", Backstrom said. They lost a 3-1 lead to the New York Rangers in the second round of 2014, scoring just three goals over the final three games, a meltdown that cost coach Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero their jobs. Washington heads into a deciding seventh game for the 10th time in 15 playoff series since the Alex Ovechkin/Nicklas Backstrom began with the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. They'd had the momentum after Game 5.