Monday night will be an elimination game for the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Capitals secured an unlikely win in a dramatic, up-and-down Game Five. There’s a hero here, and if you’ve been paying attention, I promise you’re gonna like where this story is going.
Two minutes into the game, Jamie Oleksiak scored on Braden Holtby’s stick side to give the Penguins a lead, but a late-period flurry from new dad John Carlson and past playoff escape goat Brett Connolly gave the Caps a one-goal lead headed into the second period, which is where bad things happened. Sidney Crosby re-tied the game with a tip-in of Phil Kessel’s shot during an early power play, then Patric Hornqvist won a crease fight to give the Penguins the lead after forty minutes.
Less than one minute into the third period, Evgeny Kuznetsov took a pass from Jakub Vrana and turned it into a thrilling breakaway goal. Vrana doubled down to put the Caps in the lead with less than five minutes remaining. TJ Oshie and Lars Eller added empty-netters, and that was it.
Caps beat the Penguins 6-3! Caps lead the series 3-2!
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 6, 2018
— Shea Angus (@Sheangus) May 6, 2018
Joe B suit of the night, courtesy of Andrew
This isn’t about me or RMNB analysts or stats vs old-school or Barry Trotz. This is about Jakub Vrana getting a shot on the big stage and absolutely crushing it.
The Caps have a chance to do something they have not done in 24 years, and it’s all because their coach trusted a young player and was repaid with success.
I dig hockey for lots of reasons, but here’s one: I got to watch a special kid like Jake become a star on national television after months of doubt as to whether he even deserved a sweater. He got one tonight, and he had his moment. He’s gonna have a lot more, and we get to watch.
Let’s go Caps.
Headline photo: Patrick Smith
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