Recovering Sidney Crosby skates at Penguins practice facility

Unfortunately for the Capitals, they got hit with the latter in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

The most impressive thing about this Penguins team, though, has been their ability to withstand the numerous potentially disastrous injuries that have occurred this season.

But the next one never came, even as the Capitals repeatedly blitzed the Penguins' zone with hollow scoring chances.

After the Caps had taken a 2-0 series lead against Pittsburgh in the second round in 2009, we wrote how we were witnessing the shift of power in the conference, that the Caps had overtaken Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

The Penguins deserve all the credit in the world for what they've done this postseason. After dropping Game Four by a close margin, the Caps began searching for something to blame. "I think we have enough to win games".

"I think I didn't control the puck well and make stupid decisions", he added. Ryan Getzlaf paced the Ducks attack with four points, while Jakob Silfverberg, who fired at Cam Talbot time and again throughout the night, racking up nine shots on goal, scored less than a minute into overtime.

Crosby resumed skating Thursday, but that does not mean he will be able to return to the lineup for the fifth game or any time in the foreseeable future, according to head coach Mike Sullivan. "(Malkin) is an elite player. For the second game in a row, Washington dressed seven defensemen.

With his team down a goal and two minutes left in the third period, Washington winger T.J. Oshie was whistled for a phantom high-stick on Nick Bonino in the corner.




Trotz called out all of his top players. If you watched that game you'd also note that the Capitals lost without Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, effectively without anyway. He was on the ice for Pittsburgh's game-winning goal. And so does his head coach. "They need to step up right now".

"Now our backs are against the wall", Trotz said. "When he's been healthy we've had a rhythm, he gets into it defensively and has set a tone on the perimeter for us along with Kawhi (Leonard)".

"The nature of these things is they're all very different", Sullivan said. The Capitals came hard on every shift and went on to outshoot the Penguins 17-4, which included goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nate Schmidt over a span of 1:12. The Capitals showed some mettle in battling past the young Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round but the Penguins are not the Maple Leafs. Washington has pumped 142 shots at Fleury through four games, almost 50 more shots than the Penguins have managed the other way (93). Washington blocked just 11 of Pittsburgh's attempts. That's an extremely tall order, even for a team as good as the Penguins. It's a been a big challenge for our group in this series.

You can't win. Not in the age of Twitter of super-slo-mo replays.

The Penguins are masters of the counterattack, creating odd-man rushes and breakaways with their tremendous speed, skillful cross-ice passes, and some deadly finishes. Meanwhile, the Penguins will try to put the Caps down 3-1 in the series. "I could talk for a while".

In this edition of the hotstove, we discuss whether or not the Capitals still have a chance of beating the Penguins and advancing to the conference finals. The Capitals are unable to rack up goals despite the mounds of pucks they fire towards the net.

Coming back from 3-1 down is tough to do against anyone.

They could also get creative, though, and make some wholesale changes.

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