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Zombie Capitals aren't dead yet in conference semifinals vs. Pittsburgh

The Capitals weren't exactly dead and buried, but things were looking bleak in Game 3 when they surrendered two goals in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime. With players due pay raises and salary-cap constraints looming this summer, this playoff run is the last for the best team to surround Ovechkin, and the window is closing for the 31-year-old to win a Stanley Cup. Stick in hand, one of the zombies slashes through a graveyard of tattered headstones inscribed, in order, with the following: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4. And yet, the zombies are still smiling.

CORRECTS SPELLING OF CAPITALS IN SECOND SENTENCE Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), from Russian Federation, celebrates scoring the game winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with teammates, T.J. Oshie (77), John Ca. A failed one-timer caused Marc-Andre Fleury to be out of position, and Kuznetsov had an open net from a sharp angle. That's why we play 82 games.

The Capitals tied it up with a goal from Nicklas Backstrom early in the third period, giving them a mental boost.

And finally, 27 seconds later, the captain came steaming through the slot.

Coach Mike Sullivan said "there's a possibility" that the famed trio would be put together in Game 6, and why not? Message received-and answered loudly. Burakovsky forced a turnover by Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey, moved to the right post and flipped the puck in off of Fleury.

Vesey pulled the Rangers in front 4-3 with his first career playoff goal when he pounced on a rebound of Brady Skjei's shot.

"I would say just a little bit more zone time", he said.

Again, it's a smaller sample size than the rest of the team because he didn't play in the first round, but once more, that figure is hard to ignore.

"I've said all along this year and throughout the playoffs, too, for us to win, he needs to be great", forward Justin Williams said. To get to the success in the big moments, sometimes there's failure to overcome.

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Now, the Capitals must confront a delicious slice of narrative symmetry. The home team has won 10 of the last 13 meetings between these two as well. There is a reason that Pittsburgh has been near-unbeatable this season in their own building. Sense any similarities between the scenarios, Mr. Trotz?

"You can learn a lot from players like Geno, Sid and Ovi", said Kuznetsov, 24.

Don't at all be surprised if Kunitz plays 15-17 minutes in Game 6. The cursors were blinking on the obituaries.

After the unprecedented comeback required just to get back into Game 5, the Ducks finished it off with one more moment of hard-earned grace from their dynamic duo.

CROSBY BACK: Sidney Crosby played 19:10, the most among Penguins forwards, and had an assist in his return to the lineup five days after being concussed.

Yet, behind the door with the neon-green zombies, the Capitals were very much breathing. "We had our chances to build on that lead".

The Rangers, who trailed for only 4:11 in the first four games of the series, then grabbed hold of another lead with two goals in 66 seconds. We can figure him out quite easily, as we have before.

A furious third-period rally on Saturday saved the Washington Capitals - at least temporarily - from having to face another playoff failure post-mortem. They will need their big guns-Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov and Holtby, who saved each of the dozen shots he faced in the final frame-firing on all cylinders.

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