Hockey gods bless us with 7th game of this Caps/Pens madness

The two previous overtimes in the Washington Capitals' series against the Pittsburgh Penguins ended in defeat via fluky deflection goals, but they were both the end result of the Penguins hauling ass to earn their chances.

So naturally, the Capitals earn their first overtime win of the series through the clutch efforts of three of their toughest grunts: Matt Bradley(notes), Brooks Laich(notes) and Dave Steckel(notes), the latter two combining for the game-winner to send this preposterously entertaining series to a seventh game on Wednesday in D.C.

The same David Steckel whose missed empty net chance in Game 5 made Alexander Ovechkin(notes) exclaim, "Jesus, where is our luck?" Steckel by thy name.

To win Game 6, the Capitals needed secondary scoring; boom, goals by Steckel and Tomas Fleischmann(notes) and Alexander Semin(notes), who responded after getting called out by everyone except the Vatican this week. To win Game 6, the Capitals needed another stout effort from Simeon Varlamov(notes); while the Mark Eaton(notes) tally was stoppable, his 17-save first period might be the primary reason this series has been extended.

To win Game 6, the Capitals had to once again be the best team in the NHL when their backs are firmly pressed against the wall. The resiliency from both of these teams is nothing short of extraordinary.

A few thoughts:

Sidney Crosby(notes) continues to have the playoffs of his life. Gritty, unwavering and at times absolutely brilliant going to the net. If he hasn't earned your respect in this series, he never will.

• An unfortunate truth for both teams: There's less diving at Great Barrier Reef than there was in this game.

• The Capitals won the faceoff battle again, 37-27. Steckel was 3-for-6 and Boyd Gordon(notes) was 5-for-5 in the defensive zone. That's huge, and a trend to watch for Game 7.

• According to the Internet, there is also a Mike Green(notes) who works as an agent for American roots, Celtic, folk and bluegrass artists. Is there any chance he's the one currently wearing No. 52 for Washington, in some sort of freak roster screw-up?

• Unfortunately for Marc-Andre Fleury(notes), Viktor Kozlov's(notes) second goal of the night proved that Hal Gill(notes) is indeed an immovable object.

• Game 7, Penguins and Capitals. In which the Stanley Cup finals become as climactic as the sixth ending of the last "Lord of the Rings" movie. Good lord, what a series.

(Ovechkin photo via Mr. Irrelevant.)

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