In the first instance this series, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will go to a close-out game with the Pens having the opportunity to wrap things up. The Penguins can win the series, 4-1, and make the Capitals choke in the playoffs again.
It’s become a pretty familiar scene, with the Penguins and Capitals shaking hands and Ovechkin and company are going home. The same scenario could play out tonight in Washington, with the Capitals choking on their home ice to lose another series to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This one could be worse than past years. The Pens operated without Sidney Crosby last game, but the final score didn’t go the Capitals’ way. Conor Sheary has also been on the shelf for Pittsburgh.
Both practiced today, but their status is unknown. It’d be a surprise to see Crosby out there so soon after experiencing another concussion. If this was ten or even five years ago, he’d probably be suiting up and playing in Game 5. In today’s NHL, though, I have my doubts.
With a win tonight, the Penguins won’t need Crosby before the Eastern Conference Finals begin. So, if you think of it like that, it adds another dimension to this game. More time off for Crosby would mean a world of help for the Pens in the next round.
The Capitals brought it in Game 4, but they ran into a wall in net. Marc-Andre Fleury who has been a shaky commodity for the Penguins this season, stood awfully tall. Fleury turned back 36 shots, delivering a standout performance for the Pens in net. They’ll need him again tonight, but it should be a little tougher on the road in Washington. Get our free Penguins vs. Capitals Game 5 pick below at The Sports Geek.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Game 5 Pick
If Crosby doesn’t play the rest of this series, all the Penguins will need is another performance like that from Fleury to beat the Capitals. I don’t foresee a scenario where the Capitals would be able to overcome something like that again in net. They did what they had to do, but it wasn’t enough. Frustration has to be at its apex in Washington. Thank you, Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Capitals will have to find a way to beat a team that has been a thorn in their side three consecutive times. The prospect of them doing it is slim, but if Fleury is off his guard, it’s going to be much easier to do. If he wasn’t perfect in Game 4, then they lost. There has been no game in this series that saw less than 5 goals.
Yes, in three of them, they were 3-2 finals. However, I have a feeling something is going to break on Fleury in Washington. This may be one of those games that the Capitals find their offense. Note on two night’s rest, the Capitals have gone 7-4 to the OVER, as well have the Penguins. At a minimum, there should be at least 5 goals. I like a pick on the OVER in Game 5 between the Penguins and Capitals.
PICK: OVER 5 (-125)