Penguins' Hagelin a game-time decision for Game 2 vs. Caps

06 May, 2017, 03:16 | Author: Felix Jensen

Tonight the battle between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will resume.

Penguins 6, Capitals 2: In Washington, with Sidney Crosby continuing his brilliance for the Penguins and Braden Holtby not having the same response in net for the Capitals, the second-round series between the NHL's top teams has tilted in Pittsburgh's favor.

Washington, which doubled the Penguins in shot attempts in Game 1 of the series yet lost, is 7-3 in its last 10 home playoff games when it was a favorite of -135 to -500 on the moneyline.

I'm pretty sure a hockey conspiracy is afoot.

"We've got to get our shots through and around the blocks", Trotz said. The series resumes Saturday with Game 2, 8 p.m. ET, in Washington. Niskanen was asked what the veteran leaders, led by Nicklas Backstrom, said in a closed-door, players-only meeting following the loss. It wasn't until the second that the scoring started, with Sidney Crosby scoring twice and Alex Ovechkin scoring once.

That's as big a game as Washington will face as just 18 of the previous 87 teams to lose the first two in a best-of-seven series have come back to win, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Presidents' Trophy winners the Capitals, who have a knack for wilting in the postseason, find themselves in a 2-0 series hole.

"When teams want to play an aggressive game against us, there's risk-reward", Sullivan said.

"You always want to play", the 28-year-old Swede said.

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Washington seems incapable of changing the mojo. Or can the Caps find that resolve on the road and take their first lead in a game in the series and turn this game around? Malkin's deflection was initially waved off for goaltender interference, but the Penguins challenged and the call was overturned. He leads the playoffs in goals scored and already owns the franchise record for playoff goals by a rookie. But they have to wonder: What can they do now, after they've given their nemesis their best shot and have nothing to show for it, to keep from going down in flames again?

The Capitals dominated the first period, but couldn't beat Fleury. Sullivan didn't have an update on RW Patric Hornqvist, who left the game in the first period after blocking a shot from John Carlson. He went back to the locker room and did not return.

Complaining of no power plays in Game 1, the Capitals did nothing with their two first-period chances and gave up the first goal on the third early in the second. Wingels stopped to scoop the puck out of the goal before joining the pile.

Capitals fans are wondering how this Washington team is different from any of the other ones that couldn't get past the second round of the playoffs.

The Penguins regained the lead at 13:04 when Crosby entered the zone and, with a trio of defenders closing on him, fed across to Kessel. Holtby was pulled from the game after the second period.

The play started when Crosby blocked a shot and got the puck to Guentzel while down on the ice. His performance in Game 1 was one of the worst that he has had in the National Hockey League.

NOTES: LW Chris Kunitz returned to the Penguins' lineup after missing the first round and final five games of the regular season with a lower-body injury.

Rather than doubling down on what had worked, the Capitals then got antsy, forsaking their methodical offensive approach in search of more immediate gratification.

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