Blues push Stars to the brink with Game 5 victory

“I don’t believe in [pressure] one way or another, but it’s a little more pressure being up 3-2 than it is 3-1, yeah”. In fairness, they had this defeat coming.

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Dmitrij Jaskin’s first career playoff goal in his first postseason game this year put the Blues ahead for good at 2-1 in the second period, and St. Louis protected a 3-1 lead in the third for a second straight road victory in the series. The Capitals offense looked sharp and risky in game 5 and the Penguins suffered multiple defensive breakdowns. “It’s the best of three now, and we got two at home”.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, right, holds onto the stick of Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, left, of Sweden, during the third period of Game 5 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinals, Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Washington.

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins meet Tuesday night for game six at the Consol Energy Center. I thought we played fast. We know Phil has a rip of a shot and is an extremely great skater.

In the end, no one gets a parade for digging themselves halfway out of a hole. “I think it injects some new life into you, and that was what it was”.

It was the first time the team had faced elimination in these playoffs and, more importantly, might have been the first real test of adversity that has faced the NHL’s best regular-season team by a country mile. On Saturday night, it finally showed itself. They sounded energized and confident after getting this win. And as has been so often the case, Williams doesn’t just talk the talk, but he walks the walk with an important goal in a game that Caps needed to live to see another day.

And while they hoped they knew how they would respond, hoping and knowing are two different things. At around the four minute mark of the first period after a hooking call went against the Penguins, the Capitals had the first man advantage of the night and Alex Ovechkin, with their first official shot on goal, found the back of the net. Justin Williams completed the Caps scoring on an unassisted second-period marker.

“We hit some posts, we hit a crossbar, we missed a couple point blank”, Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. No, if the Stars have anything to blame for their impending elimination it’s their tepid power play (goalless again on Saturday) and poor coverage in their own zone that leaves their netminders out to dry in this series. Cole had been a big part of the Penguins’ success, leading their defensemen in short-handed time, but you can’t defend when you are in the box. That broke a 1 of 12 spell on the power play for Washington. You have to make sure you take away all the areas. “But we feel those mistakes are correctable”.

Joe Pavelski scored two goals and the Sharks used some reconfigured lines to bounce back from the tough loss and beat Nashville to take a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series. Williams intercepted Dumoulin’s clearing attempt and fired a wrist shot that somehow dribbled through rookie goaltender Matt Murray’s legs.

“We stopped it once, now we need to do it twice more”, Williams said.

“I think he got pretty lucky on that one”.

Braden Holtby has been an absolute rock this entire season.

The Predators now must try to repeat the trick they pulled off in the first round against Anaheim by rallying from a 3-2 series deficit if they want to reach the conference final for the first time in franchise history.

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Murray couldn’t quite match him. “You’ve got to go to the hard areas”. We didn’t give him enough support tonight.

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