The best revenge for the Pittsburgh Penguins

WASHINGTON, DC -- Brooks Orpik(notes) touched the fresh stitches over his eye as he thought about the physical play in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 4-3, Game 5 victory against the Washington Capitals.

Like other Penguins, the defenseman had paid the physical price in the overtime win. Like other Penguins, he did so without allowing his emotions to get the best of him after a controversial knee-on-knee check by Alexander Ovechkin(notes) knocked Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar(notes) out of the series and potentially the playoffs.

Orpik said he entered the game believing that the best way to gain a measure of revenge against Ovechkin was for the Penguins to win the series. And it was Gonchar that put him in that mindset.

"With Ovechkin, that was something where I had talked to Gonch sometime after breakfast. He's just disappointed. He was out most of the year with a shoulder injury. He battled so hard to get back," said Orpik. "He told us this morning to just go out and play. The best way to get back at them is just to beat them in this series. Hearing it from the guy who can't play, I thought it was a pretty good message."

The message echoed through the Penguins locker room. The same word was used by Orpik and Matt Cooke(notes) and several other players: resiliency.

Resiliency in bouncing back after losing their best defenseman. Resiliency in bouncing back after blowing two leads against the Capitals tonight. Resiliency in rallying with three straight victories after two defeats to begin the series.

Someone asked Sidney Crosby(notes) if the hockey gods were smiling on the Penguins after Evgeni Malkin's(notes) overtime game-winner deflected home off of a sliding Tom Poti(notes).

"Maybe," said Crosby, who went to the net on Malkin's game-winner with the same authority as he had all night. "You gotta work hard to get the bounces, though."

Thoughts on Game 5 and video of Ovechkin's press conference coming up.

Goal by goal coverage of Game 5 can be found in our earlier post. Some additional thoughts:

• Ovechkin made this point in his press conference and it's hard not to agree with it:  "If we play the way we played in the first two periods, we're going to win the series."

The Capitals carried the offensive play at times, bottled up the Penguins leaving their own zone and won the faceoff battle (33-27, with Boyd Gordon(notes) going 10-2 and Sergei Fedorov(notes) going 12-6). It was some of the best even-strength hockey they've played in the series.

• One line that had the advantage five-on-five against the Capitals: Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal(notes) and Tyler Kennedy(notes). Staal broke through with his first goal of the playoffs. The trio's hard work resulted in Cooke's critical in the third period. "Our line's been playing pretty solid throughout the playoffs. It's nice to finally get rewarded with a couple," said Staal.

• If you haven't seen it, the game-winning goal:

Malkin makes a great move through Fedorov before he shoots the puck off of Poti, who said after the game: "You know it's Malkin so you can't give him too much time and space and it became a two-on-one and I tried to make the pass and it went off my glove or my stick or something. Just a bounce, an unfortunate bounce."

Said Simeon Varlamov(notes), through a translator: "It's always hard when you play in overtime and you allow a silly goal like this twice now ... as they say, the winners make their own luck."

• Finally, from Ovechkin: "I think today we played good, but it's not good enough. Next game is going to be different," he said. "It's not over yet. If somebody thinks it's over, it's not over."

Here's his full press conference:

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