Recap of Pens/Caps G5 By Allen Muir of CNNSI
This is a great observation by Muir detailing why Pittsburgh won game 5;
“It might seem odd to say that a game characterized by thrilling bursts of run-and-gun hockey was decided by defense, but that’s exactly what happened. And that’s the critical take-home for the Capitals if they hope to bring the series back to Washington for Game 7.Despite the odd breakdown, Pittsburgh has turned around a series it once trailed two games to none by committing to the belief that defense is the responsibility of all five skaters on the ice. The 42 shots allowed by Washington shows how far removed it is from buying into that concept.
Good example: Pittsburgh’s third goal was scored by Matt Cooke after Kris Letang, Tyler Kennedy and Jordan Staal eacj had stepped up to test Simeon Varlamov in close. Not one of them, mind you, ended up on his backside for having enjoyed the privilege. Three minutes later, the Caps were swirling in Pittsburgh’s zone. Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov and Brooks Laich each converged on the net, trying to pounce on a rebound of a Laich shot. They were met there by all five Penguins skaters, and it was just a moment before Miro Satan emerged with the puck and had Pittsburgh in transition. That was the game in microcosm.When the Caps managed to generate pressure in the Pittsburgh zone, the Pens united to make life easy on Marc-Andre Fleury. They blocked shots (24 tonight), muddied the passing lanes and were quick to mop up any of Fleury’s spills. And when the Pens were in control in Washington’s zone? Too often, the Caps’ wingers were up high, waiting for the breakout, leaving the Pens to take repeated whacks at Varlamov. The Caps are guilty of taking the easy way out. Unless they address that, it’s going to cost them the series.”