Then comes a regular season in which an inevitable rough patch emerges when exhaustion kicks in.
"You never know when it's going to happen again", Anderson said, per Chris Stevenson of NHL.com. "You don't have any energy".
So Ryan will continue to grow his hair, which is the longest it's ever been, until after the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from returning to the Stanley Cup Finals back-to-back seasons. So any prognostication of another Sens-Pens showdown will inevitably be wiped of validity once Sidney Crosby and the boys retake the ice for another go-round against Craig Anderson this week.
The Ottawa Senators will play their biggest game since the 2007 Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday night, and there's a good chance they won't do so in front of a sellout crowd. "It was a pretty good shot".
With almost the entire team back from last year's Stanley Cup run, the Penguins have plenty of experience to draw on, especially when it comes to playing with their backs against the wall.
"When you're younger you always feel like there might be another day, another chance", Matt said. You don't get to the Eastern Conference Finals without having that ability to bounce back.
Since "Sid the Kid" became a Penguin, Pittsburgh has played in seven Game 7's with the Under going 5-2 cashing 71.4 percent of the time.
"I think we played the way we need to", Murray said.
Yet they've found a way to persevere.
Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Rowney and Evgeni Malkin each added three assists for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray has been strong since taking over in goal. They know exactly what to expect and what it takes to win.
With the game at PPG Paints Arena set to determine which club moves on to face Nashville in the Stanley Cup Final beginning Monday, the Penguins and Senators seem to be thinking of every possible advantage while also trying to clear their minds. The lead held up, forcing a Game 7.
Cleary believes the same can't be said for the Senators. "These are the games, when you're a kid growing up, that you're playing in the backyard". "You don't have any nerves, you just have excitement".
7 different players scored goals and 11 players recorded at least a point in game 6. In Game 4, the Brian Dumoulin-Ron Hainsey defensive pairing spent almost 10 minutes at even strength in Game 4 defending against Ovechkin's line. Washington needs to go into Game 7 with the mentality that matching minors are as unsafe as giving up a power play and avoid it at all costs.
The odds are that better players - even ones facing the constant assaults that Crosby in particular endured in Game 5 - will produce. "He's leading the way", Bylsma said.
By the way, Kunitz is 37 and has three Stanley Cups to his credit, and the other three are rookies.
He'd be in the conversation with the greats.