The tension is building all around the Washington DC metropolitan area. No, it’s not due to any sort of Russian collusion or the North Korean nuclear weapons program. Area residents are wondering if the playoff curse of the Pittsburgh Penguins can finally be lifted. Of the last seven times the Capitals have faced-off against the Penguins in the NHL playoffs, the Capitals have had their season unceremoniously ended in 6 of those seven series. In fact, one must go way back to 1994 to find the last time that Washington actually got the best of Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

The Capitals have the series lead

Going into Game 6, the Capitals are holding a 3-2 game lead over the Penguins. This is a rarity for a team having to battle a team that always has their number, at least when it comes to playoff time.

In Game 5, with the series tied, the Capitals were trailing Pittsburgh when an unlikely hero emerged for Washington. Jakub Vrana not only assisted in the game-tying goal, but he also scored the go-ahead goal for the Capitals with just under five minutes left in regulation.

After the Capitals took the lead, 4-3, with minutes to play, the Penguins pressured the Washington defenders and goalie Braden Holtby continuously, eventually pulling their own goaltender, Matt Murray.

The Capitals not only withstood the pressure, but also made some key transition plays that resulted in two empty net goals, finishing off the Penguins, 6-3.

The series heads back to Pittsburgh

As the Capitals head to Pittsburgh for Game 6 with the odds increasingly in their favor, it’s do or die time for the Penguins and they know it.

The Capitals are still without Tom Wilson, serving the last of his three-game suspension, so the Penguins would like to seize that opportunity, along with their home ice advantage to tie the series up, and head back to Washington for a deciding Game 7.

For the Capitals and their fans, there would be nothing sweeter than to finally get past the Penguins in the post-season, and to do it with a game to spare in the series.

Even sweeter would be to end the Penguins' playoff run on their home ice, and in front of their stunned crowd.

Capitals and Penguins fans are always trash-talking on social media and Capitals fans are in a constant state of worry, as the bottom always seems to drop out from their post-season hopes. That said, Washington fans are hoping that, just maybe, this season will be different.