Washington’s and Pittsburgh’s Keys to Victory
Pittsburgh’s 5 Keys to Victory
1. Convert on Power Play Chances – The Penguins scored two power play goals in game 6 but they failed to convert when they were awarded a power play with 2:03 remaining in the game. They have missed that killer instinct they had last season.
Washington has been undisciplined all series and power play opportunities will be on the table for Pittsburgh in game 7.
2. Get secondary scoring help – Secondary scoring has been the key for both teams in this series. If Pittsburgh can continue to get strong contributions from players like Max Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko who has three goals in the series, it could be a good night for the Penguins. Some offensive production from Chris Kunitz wouldn’t hurt.
3. Limit defensive breakdowns – The Capitals — capitalize off of mistakes and turnovers. The Penguins must limit their mistakes and play a strong defensive game. One area of concern has been the Penguins defensive breakdowns where positioning has been a problem.
4. Crosby, Malkin must shine – Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are regarded as two of the games top players and game 7’s are where star players elevate their performance. This is the difference between a borderline star player in Joe Thornton and between a super star like Sidney Crosby. The pressure will be on both players.
5. Fleury must elevate his performance – There’s no way around it but Marc Andre Fleury is the key for the Penguins tonight. He has yet to steal a game this series and the Penguins are counting on him to do so tonight.
Washington keys to victory
1. “Be Discipline” – The Washington Capitals have been undisciplined throughout this series. It almost ended their season in game 6 as David Steckel was called for a slashing penalty with 2:03 remaining in the third period.
2. Offensive help for Ovechkin – Alexander Ovechkin has been sensational in the series and other than Niklas Backstrom, Ovechkin has got minimal help from top 6 forwards Alexander Semin and Viktor Kozlov. If Kozlov and Semin play at the level they did in game 6, it could be a good night for the Capitals
3. Mike Green – After scoring 31 goals in the regular season, Mike Green has been a disappointment through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Green is a difference maker on the blueline and the Capitals need him to play at the level that he can.
4. Secondary Scoring – Secondary scoring is very important to which team wins tonight. The Capitals have got strong contributions from players like David Steckel and they will need the same again in game 7.
5. Varlamov will have to steal another game – The Penguins have outplayed the Capitals 5-on-5 and the shots are going to keep coming as the Capitals have not been able to limit the Penguins attack. Varlamov will have to be the difference maker in game 7.