page contents Capitals-Penguins Game 6: Nicklas Backstrom will be a 'game-time decision' – The News Headline

Capitals-Penguins Game 6: Nicklas Backstrom will be a 'game-time decision'

Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals can wrap up their second-round sequence in opposition to the Penguins Monday evening. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Submit)

Sport 6

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Collection: Capitals lead. Three-2

7 p.m. ET, PPG Paints Area


• Nicklas Backstrom’s standing for Sport 6 is doubtful after he suffered an “upper-body” damage on Saturday evening. (Learn extra)

• Capitals heart Lars Eller may just get extra accountability with Backstrom probably out. (Learn extra)

• Washington has proven its resiliency all over this rocky season. (Learn extra)

Best tale traces

Backstrom: Capitals Trainer Barry Trotz stated Backstrom is a “game-time determination.” He didn’t play lots of the 0.33 era on Saturday evening, and he gave the impression to get harm blocking off a shot along with his hand throughout a penalty kill within the first era. Left wing Chandler Stephenson took faceoffs for Backstrom for the remainder of the sport. With Washington already down two top-six forwards — Andre Burakovsky is injured and Tom Wilson is suspended — the lack of Backstrom might be devastating. He has 13 issues in 11 playoff video games, and he performs at the Capitals’ height energy play unit in addition to the penalty kill.

“I believe he’s in,” captain Alex Ovechkin stated.

In line rushes on Monday morning, Lars Eller targeted a moment line with Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie. Rookie Travis Boyd was once the third-line heart with Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly, and left wing Nathan Walker changed Shane Gersich at the fourth line. If that holds, the Capitals could have two avid gamers — Walker and Boyd — making their playoff debut in Sport 6.

“Clearly, we all know greater than someone how treasured Nick is, what sort of participant he’s,” goaltender Braden Hotlby stated. “You’ll be able to’t substitute that. I do not know what his standing is or no matter, however the factor is we nonetheless have Travis Boyd if he has to step in, and he’s a super heart. He’s a man that simply hasn’t gotten numerous time as a result of we’ve been an attractive wholesome crew up the center. He’s a participant, so he can fill in and there’s numerous different guys who can step up. Clearly, we at all times like to have Nick within the lineup, but when he’s now not in, if that’s the case, then we’re nonetheless a assured team.”

Best line: On Sunday, Trotz was once coy about if he’d stay Vrana at the first line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ovechkin. The 22-year-old rookie arrange the game-tying function after which he scored the game-winning one. However Vrana can be a defensive legal responsibility, and with Penguins Trainer Mike Sullivan controlling the matchups on Monday evening at PPG Paints Area, Trotz turns out to have opted for Stephenson within the first-line proper wing spot. Sullivan will nearly indisputably need captain Sidney Crosby at the ice in opposition to Kuznetsov, and Stephenson is thought of as a extra accountable participant.

“I’m now not going to inform you precisely what I’m going to do, however we’ll see the place we’re,” Trotz stated Sunday. “For me, it’s situational a bit of bit extra. Whilst you’re on the lookout for a bump, [Vrana’s] an actual excellent man to move there. …

“There’s sure matchups that we had regulate of [Saturday] that we don’t have. That does make a distinction. It’s now not actually myth hockey. It’s real-life hockey, and also you’ve were given to take a look at to make the precise changes, and we do as a bunch. We speak about each and every scenario, what turns out to paintings and what may give us the most productive probability.”

• Sport 7: The Capitals haven’t had two probabilities to advance previous the Penguins since 1995, however whilst Washington has what Trotz known as extra “wiggle room,” the crew would relatively now not use it. Pittsburgh is determined, at the fringe of removal after successful back-to-back Stanley Cups the previous two years. “It looks like a Sport 7,” ahead Tom Kuhnhackl stated.

Capitals heart Jay Beagle echoed that.

“They’re a deadly crew over there,” Beagle stated. “We all know them smartly. We’ve bumped into them clearly up to now so much. We need to deal with it like a Sport 7, do or die, and are available out in that first and play love it.”

Gamers to observe

Lars Eller: If Backstrom is certainly out, Eller is predicted to peer an uptick in mins taking part in beside Vrana and Oshie on a moment line. However Washington will glance to the middle for offense irrespective of the place he’s taking part in within the lineup. He scored a career-high 38 issues this season with 18 objectives, and he has seven issues in 11 video games this postseason. One of the crucial causes the Capitals have an edge within the sequence is they’ve had higher secondary scoring.

“I believe historical past displays that different guys can step up when want be for a brief time period,” Eller stated. “Whilst you’re lacking a few of your best possible avid gamers, different guys step up and fill in some roles and play extra mins. Irrespective of if Nick is taking part in or now not, we’re assured we will be able to get a win right here lately.”

Kris Letang: Pittsburgh’s height defenseman was once at the ice when heart Evgeny Kuznetsov were given a breakaway to tie Sport five, and he was once additionally at the ice for Vrana’s game-winning function. Letang was once vital of his third-period play in Sport five, however he’s were given more or less some extent in line with sport for the Penguins this postseason whilst averaging just about 25 mins in line with sport. He and Brian Dumoulin are anticipated to stand Washington’s height line with Ovechkin once more in Sport five.

“I did communicate to him,” Sullivan stated. “I advised him how essential he’s to our crew and the way excellent he’s. Tanger’s a man who takes numerous pleasure in his sport. He’s helped this crew win numerous video games. He’s helped this crew win championships, and that’s the participant we all know and love. It’s a sport of errors. Everybody makes them. It’s about reacting the precise manner, responding the precise manner, placing it at the back of you and having a look ahead to the following alternative, and that’s what we mentioned.”

Pregame studying

Immerse your self within the Capitals’ postseason with The Submit’s protection of the Stanley Cup playoffs:

This Capitals crew might be other, as a result of its trail to get right here was once more difficult

Barry Svrluga: the Capitals higher win this sequence in six video games

The 13 excruciating playoff losses that experience D.C. sports activities fanatics ravenous for yet another Caps win

The Caps may just finish the stupidest streak in sports activities. Heck yeah it issues.

Penguins now in desperation mode — however they’ve succeeded in those spots ahead of

Fancy Stats: The 2 giant issues pushing the Penguins to the threshold of removal

‘The goalie is the whole thing for us’: Caps’ Sport five triumph began and ended with Braden Holtby

Because the Capitals input uncharted territory, something is apparent: They consider

Penguins-Capitals Sport five: Washington wins, 6-Three, and Caps have two probabilities to clinch sequence

For Capitals, Sport five center of attention will probably be on reigniting height line

Andre Burakovsky skates, however not going to go back by means of finish of Penguins sequence

Penguins brush aside fatigue ingredient after 59 playoff video games in 3 seasons

Crosby once more has a hand in the whole thing as Penguins knot sequence with Capitals

Capitals-Penguins way compelling hockey — and the point of interest on the whole thing else

Tom Wilson suspended 3 video games by means of NHL for hit on Zach Aston-Reese

Tom Wilson’s maximum arguable hits, from Brayden Schenn to Zach Aston-Reese

‘Hell yeah!’ Max Scherzer and the Nats stay all-in at the Capitals

For one fan base a minimum of in Capitals-Penguins sequence, Tom Wilson is a large hit

The sophisticated secret to Sidney Crosby’s greatness

Rapid Jakub Vrana might be the Capitals’ X-factor — if he will get at the ice

How the Capitals stepped forward their defensive play in time for the postseason

Washington’s anticipated lineup:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Chandler Stephenson
Jakub Vrana-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly-Travis Boyd-Devante Smith-Pelly
Nathan Walker-Jay Beagle-Alex Chiasson
Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (higher physique), Andre Burakovsky (higher physique), Tom Wilson (suspension), Shane Gersich, Brian Pinho

Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny-John Carlson
Brooks Orpik-Christian Djoos
Scratches: Jakub Jerabek, Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby (starter)
Philipp Grubauer
Scratch: Pheonix Copley

Pittsburgh’s anticipated lineup:

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Dominik Simon
Carl Hagelin-Evgeni Malkin-Patric Hornqvist
Conor Sheary-Riley Sheahan-Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl-Derick Brassard-Bryan Rust
Scratches: Carter Rowney, Zach Aston-Reese (concussion, damaged jaw)

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maatta-Justin Schultz
Jamie Oleksiak-Chad Ruhwedel
Scratch: Matt Hunwick

Matt Murray (starter)
Casey DeSmith

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