Legacies on the line in this latest Penguins-Capitals Game 7 clash

That's okay if you're ahead, but it is hard to come back from when trailing especially given Washington's overwhelming shot advantage.

"That's the one particular moment we all remember", said New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald, another one of then-coach Dan Bylsma's young assistants that night.

A hit involving Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is throwing the NHL's concussion protocol under a microscope during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It will be a memorable night for Washington sports standards, as the Washington Wizards play at the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in the NBA and the Washington Nationals host the Baltimore Orioles in MLB's battle of the Beltways.

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.

Trotz has been saying since early in the series that the Capitals liked how they were playing, and now they finally getting rewarded for their play.

Pittsburgh had trouble executing even the simplest of plays. As for the Caps, they are a much stronger team when they are patient with the puck. They've controlled the puck, been more patient and made timely adjustments.

Below, check out observations from Sidney Crosby, Mike Sullivan and Barry Trotz on tomorrow's enormous Game 7. As a player who is playing through injury and giving (presumably) everything he has on the ice to win a game for his team and city, how must it feel to see fans leaving in what could be the last home game of the season, or for a few, the last game in a Penguin uniform? . Slow to get up? No longer would a trainer have to be told to go forth and multiply after tapping a player on the shoulder and telling him to leave the bench. He did not. A collective sigh of relief.

"We're going to have to be better", Oshie said.

The switch also freed up Washington's other skill players to take advantage of less-adept defensemen.

Not listed is a player's head making secondary contact with the boards, which is what happened with Crosby on Monday.

When Crosby was asked if he was evaluated following that play, the Penguins' star said, "Yeah, yeah ..." That concussion caused Crosby to miss Game 4 of the series. At different points he seemed to boil over. "You are not going to win everyone". He even gave defenceman Dmitry Orlov a forceful facewash, a jab Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. could have found useful Saturday night, but I digress. The Penguins also used both goalies - Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray - as the Senators, who led the game 4-2 in the second, got goals from Dion Phaneuf, Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman.

Crosby had gotten tangled up with Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and Capitals defenseman John Carlson, and ended up - through no fault of the Capitals players - colliding with the boards and then taking a while to get back up.

Crosby was OK if you interpret that as good enough to play. FILE - This April 28, 2010 file photo shows Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, of Slovakia, celebrating the team's 2-1 win as Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russian Federation, skates off after Game 7 of the.

Reminder: the contest takes place on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Penguins as a team are looking far worse than he is though. Finding a way to make the conference finals for just the third time ever at the expense of the Stanley Cup champion and longtime nemesis Penguins - who are 3-0 in winner-take-all games against Washington - would just be the icing. "We're having fun now".