The series between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the most iconic rivalries in the NHL, just got more fuel added to its already big fire. After winning Game Five by 6-3, Caps fan are anxiously expectant about what will happen in Game Six. But with two injuries during the game to Nick Backstrom and John Carlson, fans were a bit worried at the end of the game.
During the second round series, Tom Wilson involved himself twice in controversial hits. Though in the first occasion he wasn’t called for a hearing with the NHL Player Saftey, he couldn’t manage to escape it after his hit in Game Three. There was much discussion about whether Wilson’s hit was legal or not; it was Zach Aston-Reese who was left with a broken jaw and a concussion. That led to a three-game suspension for Wilson. Even with Willy already missing two games, the Caps are leading the series by 3-2 after beating the Penguins in Game Five.
Although the Caps walked away with a victory, Caps fans were scared after seeing what happened with Carlson and Backstrom. Nicky left the game in the third period going to its final minutes and didn’t return. Barry Trotz later said Backstrom has an upper-body injury. As of this afternoon, Trotz has said it is a “game-time decison,” and would not comment further.
Carlson took a hard hit from Penguins’ Jake Guentzel, which Trotz called “a headshot” and a “unsuspecting, high hit.” But the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has decided not to call Guentzel for a hearing. Anyway, Carlson is expected to play tonight, since as the nature of the hit doesn’t indicate that the injury was enough to take Carlson out of Game Six.
— HockeyKot (@hockeykot) May 6, 2018
“John took a high hit, he was unsuspecting with a minute left. He’s being evaluated. I know the standard’s been set and I’m going to leave it up to the league. It was a headshot, in my opinion. An unsuspecting high hit.”
Both Backstrom and Carlson are important players to the Caps roster. Carlson has become the most productive defenseman during this season and a huge presence in the playoffs and this series as well. The team, which is already missing key players with the suspended Wilson and the injured Andre Burakovsky, had fans worried for a few moments about Backstrom and Carlson.
Backstrom did travel with the Caps to Pittsburgh — Burky did not.
The Caps are going to Pittsburgh for Game Six, at 7:00 PM and they’re just one game away for classifying to the Eastern Conference Final they don’t see in 20 years. As Trotz has asked; WE ARE 100% BEHIND THE CAPS!!
“We’re trying as hard as we can. At the end of the day, that’s all we can promise. Get behind is. Help push us forward. And we’re going to give you our best.” — Barry Trotz on how nervous #Caps fans should handle themselves the next day or so. #ALLCAPS #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/RigaaFeFzc
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 6, 2018