The Caps withstood a five-minute major penalty after Matt Niskanen collided with Sidney Crosby, forcing both out of the game.
The Caps got a chance of their own later that period, and they made it count.
The goal came from the stick of the player who called the players only meeting after Game Two.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 2, 2017
Brian Rust joined Carl Hagelin in the penalty box after putting the puck over the glass for a delay of game. The Caps had more than a minute of 5-on-3 hockey.
Five-on-three can be frustrating to watch. The attackers collapse low, dancing along the goal line waiting for an opening. Nicklas Backstrom was that attacker for Washington, eyeing the net while trying to force a mistake with some passes to the high man. Meanwhile, Justin Williams was absorbing attention in the slot.
Backstrom was patient, then he struck. Short-side. An impossible angle, but a goal nonetheless.
Backstrom has now scored four goals this postseason. He is one goal behind Dale Hunter in all-time playoff scoring.
And most importantly, the Caps take an early lead — their first lead in the series — in an already dramatic game.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.