Predators captain Roman Josi said the team has to "step up tonight" and play their best game if they want to see the next round of the playoffs.
The frustrations kept building in the third period for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, from a disallowed tying goal to the Capitals star being sent off for a late-game misconduct penalty in a game that had turned into a rout. Goaltender Petr Mrazek allowed six goals on 28 shots, and now the pressure is on Carolina at home to stem the tide from a playoff-seasoned opponent that knows how to finish series.
After winning Games 3 and 4 to even the series, the Hurricanes look broken.
It helped the Hurricanes that they got a bit healthier, with one of the three forwards injured during this series returning to the lineup.
But the Hurricanes went ahead for good when Jordan Staal poked the puck past Braden Holtby's outstretched left skate - and the Capitals' troubles soon went from simmering to a rolling boil. The Capitals are 6-0 in their last 6 playoff games as a favorite, 16-5 in their last 21 games as a favorite and 7-3 in their last 10 Conference Quarterfinals games. They went into Winnipeg in the second round previous year down 3-2 and forced a Game 7 back at home and will try to do the same this time (8:30 p.m. EDT, CNBC).
The Capitals finished the night 3-of-4 on the powerplay, while the Hurricanes finished 0-for-5.
Washington Capitals fans are still flying high after the team's near-flawless performance in Game 5.
It was this freakish binge-drinking manoeuvre that Oshie made rather famous during the Capitals' weeks-long Stanley Cup celebration last summer. They advanced in their first opportunity to do so in all four series a year ago on the way to the first championship in franchise history and have developed something of a killer instinct. The Washington Capitals have won 14 of their last 17 games as a home favorite.
Whatever the Capitals did to put an ugly pair of games in North Carolina behind them, it worked. "Having success in those critical moments, I think, gives everybody a little confidence that they can handle it".