PITTSBURGH - David Steckel scored on a deflection of Brooks Laich's shot and the Washington Capitals finally won an overtime playoff game, beating nemesis Pittsburgh 5-4 on Monday night to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Capitals, losers of their seven previous overtime games, couldn't hold a 4-3 lead late in regulation when Sidney Crosby scored, but made up for it when Steckel went to the net immediately after winning a faceoff.

Laich wristed the puck on net from the right circle and Steckel put it past Marc-Andre Fleury 6:22 into the overtime.

The game before, Steckel couldn't score into an open net early in overtime and the Penguins won 3-2 in Washington on Evgeni Malkin's goal to take a 3-2 lead into the potential closeout game on Monday.

Instead, Game 7 will be Wednesday night in Washington.

It was the third overtime game of the series, the most in any round of these NHL playoffs. Pittsburgh won the first two, both on deflections off Capitals defencemen.

Pittsburgh had won eight of its previous nine overtime games and had been 7-1 against the Capitals in overtime.

Alex Ovechkin, so dominating while scoring seven of Washington's first 15 goals in the series, didn't get a goal but had three assists and has 13 points in six games. Crosby has 10, including six goals.

Viktor Kozlov scored twice for the Capitals to make certain an exhausting, competitive series will go the limit.

There's been no rest for the weary, either, as Monday's game was the fourth in six nights - all of them tight and tense. All but one game has been decided by one goal.

Now that they've forced a Game 7 that didn't look all that certain after they ceded home-ice advantage, the Capitals hope to finally close out a series against the Penguins.

Four times since 1992 they've led the Penguins by two games in a series, including this one, but have yet to win one.

And, for the fifth time in six games, the team scoring first didn't win.

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