Sidney Crosby is Not Here to Make Friends

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Washington spent a fair share of time in the Penguins' end of the ice, but the Caps were also able to create several odd-man rush opportunities over the course of the contest. Backstrom also picked up an assist, as did Oshie.

It'll be the fourth one to go seven games and, you guessed it, Pittsburgh has had a significant edge.

From the first drop of the puck, it was the Caps' night. [Monday], we weren't able to do any of that.

For a deciding Game 7, however, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said his team can't expect momentum to carry over.

The Capitals dominated the Penguins so thoroughly that Pittsburgh only had nine shots on goal after 40 minutes. We have to come out and have a way better effort than we did tonight.

"Our group has pretty good resolve and we've grown through our past", Trotz said. He missed Game 4 with a concussion. We took a deep breath and we kind of regrouped ourselves and said, 'Let's go after it in Game 5.' And it took until the third period of Game 5 to get going and get rewarded for it. And like they did in Game 5, the Caps poured it on. They understand their ability again. Anyone who cares about the game and the person can only hope what happened Monday night will not have any long-term effects on one of the biggest stars the game has ever seen, one who hasn't yet reached his 30 birthday, but already has an extensive case file when it comes to brain trauma.

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The Capitals have spent the better part of the season insisting this time, things will be different. But I'd say it's built over the course of the entire year. "We expect him to play his game". These post-concussion tests may not be ideal - National Football League players have admitted to cheating to beat the tests, so that's possible in hockey, too - but having so many loopholes shows it's little more than window dressing in the end. There are studies that outline the impact of repeated blows to the head that result in concussions, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

In the span of 80 minutes - from the third period of Game 5 through a one-sided Washington victory in Game 6 Monday - whatever open ice Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the defending Stanley Cup champions enjoyed while building a 3-1 series lead effectively disappeared.

The Predators won their ninth straight playoff game in Nashville going back to last postseason.

Fine. Crosby said he was checked by a doctor between the first and second periods. Which is exactly why a dispassionate, unbiased person who is both literally and figuratively removed from the situation is empowered to make those decisions.

Every day during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information. It was only midway through the final period, with the Penguins slowing after the wear and tear of a Washington blowout, when Fleury's glove couldn't keep the game within three. Last year, they fought back from a 3-2 series deficit to best the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Capitals have lost twice as many Game 7s as they've won since Alexander Ovechkin arrived in Washington. And we still have our back against the wall. "Game 7" in his first chance with Washington. It's its own entity. "We know that's not going to be the exact same story".