It's no stretch to say that the victor of Wednesday's Game 7 (7:30 p.m. ET) between the Penguins and Capitals will have the same lasting impact. That was the fourth reported concussion of his career and kept him out of Game 4 last Wednesday.
Boudreau, who is 1-7 in his National Hockey League coaching career in Game 7 after success in that spot in the minors, thinks goaltending will be the difference. The Penguins know what it takes to get through this. In the stands, a 13-year-old Peters sat in stunned (and exhausted) disbelief.
Sullivan also added context to his earlier comments by spelling out the process by which the NHL's coaches are apprised of a player's status in relation to the league's concussion protocol.
And with Game 7 comes more pressure.
Two late goals from Jake Guentzel and Evegeni Malkin were mere consolation for the Penguins, who at one stage had led the best-of-seven series 3-1.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ryan Johansen scored the game-winning goal 3:15 into the third period, and Nashville advanced to its first Western Conference final in franchise history Sunday by beating St. Louis to take the series in six games. Washington's Joe Juneau botched a penalty shot.
The Chicago Cubs eventually won the World Series. Pittsburgh advanced in six games. And because of the style of this performance - one that had the faithful here streaming for the exits in the third period, their team down five goals - here are two realities: Wednesday night's Game 7 at Verizon Center is the biggest of the Alex Ovechkin era of Washington hockey.
Crosby, however, said he simply had the wind knocked out of him and that he had been evaluated, calling it "pretty standard stuff", per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The breakthrough moment never came.
Pittsburgh needs goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to play significantly better in Game 7. They had home ice in the playoffs. He's picked up an assist in each of the last two games, but we're still waiting for the Rocket Richard Trophy winner's offensive explosion.
But now that they have, we finally have ourselves a series.
A 5-4 overtime loss Saturday - after the Senators scored the tying goal with 1:26 left in the third period on a shot that bounced off three Rangers before trickling across the goal line - put NY on the brink of elimination. They've controlled the puck, been more patient and made timely adjustments. It's nearly as if the Capitals faced their worst fears while trailing during the third period in Game 5 in Washington, found a way to win that game, and have seized this second life ever since. And Pittsburgh goes from being on the verge of moving on to the third round to being suddenly confronted with its own postseason mortality, having failed twice now to extinguish the Capitals. How many goals have they given up? Reaching into Pittsburgh's collective throat and yanking out its larynx would be none other than the Washington Capitals.
The chips are stacked against the Penguins and although I hope I'm wrong, I see the Capitals making their run this year, a Championship run that that began the day Alexander Ovechkin was drafted.
One week later at Canadian Tire Centre, Holtby posted a 30-save shutout while Condon gave up just one on 20 shots, to T.J. Oshie in the game's second minute.
Just don't expect Peters to stop rocking the red.