It'll be interesting to see where Hagelin slots in the lineup in Game 3, specifically if we see the HBK line back together for a full game.
On the other side of the ice, the Penguins won Game 1 thanks to two early second period goals from Sidney Crosby.
The Capitals weren't feeling so good about a game in which they didn't have a single power play. The Senators have a 2-0 series lead for just the second time in franchise history. "He's a game-changer for us". Holtby was pulled four times during the regular season and responded well, going 3-1-0 with a 2.27 GAA, a.922 save percentage and one shutout in his starts that followed those games.
Head coach Barry Trotz commented on Holtby's performance following Game 2, saying that he wasn't "as sharp as he can be", and Holtby was also critical of himself, telling the Washington Post that he could have been better. "He brings his best game when the game's most important". "I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles way from Washington's swamp", Mr. Trump said to cheers, as he began his speech by verbally smacking the news media, drawing the chant of "CNN sucks!" from the crowd. And if you're not, you open things up against them and before you know it, you're down by two or three.
After a smattering of boos for the first goal, Verizon Center fell silent. Pittsburgh faced a barrage of shots and was absolutely dominated in the first period.
It's impossible to believe that after so many battles that these two can continue to live up to the hype, but they do. The Capitals' Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom finally beat him, but neither goal was consequential. Washington D Karl Alzner (upper body injury) missed his sixth straight game. "In the first series (against the Columbus Blue Jackets), the first two games here, he's made timely saves for us, especially in that first period". Their story to be continued... Those private discussions often had the desired response with Washington winning the games immediately after them. They were relentless, they were drawing penalties, they earned a standing ovation from Capitals fans without even scoring a goal.
Now I'm not trying to mock the Capitals or downgrade them as a team. Many political reporters might not have been watching the Pennsylvania event with the President, as some were instead back at the White House Correspondent's Dinner in Washington - and Mr. Trump was very happy to throw a few jabs at the news media - and remind everyone that he was not going to the event.
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Six minutes into the third period, Washington had a 32-13 advantage in hits. "Obviously I know I've got to play better". "We don't need to elaborate". Pittsburgh F Chris Kunitz passed Mario Lemieux for fifth place on the team's all-time postseason games played list with 108. They threw the kitchen sink at goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and he kicked it aside.
One game is usually too small a data sample to make any kind of rush judgment. He wasn't even supposed to be in this position a month ago and is now stealing playoff games. The Penguins take a 2-0 lead back to Pittsburgh. But it didn't matter, as Fleury stayed locked in all game long.
"He'll tell you that he can be better".
Nick Bonino is a Capitals killer. But Alex Ovechkin broke the ice for the Caps later in the period before Evgeni Kuznetsov tied it eight minutes into the third. Then another Capitals mistake allowed Scott Wilson to find Bonino in some open ice, and the third-line center beat Braden Holtby with 7:24 left for the Game 1 victor. He always finds a way to turn it on down the stretch, and this season has been no different. Within the first 64 seconds of the second period, Crosby had as many goals as he had points in the Penguins' series against the Capitals previous year.
As for Kessel, if he has a reputation these days, it's as a big-game player.
I mean, without tradition our lives would be as shaky as the fiddler on the roof.
While six PPGs through eight games isn't the worst thing in the world, Washington is getting plenty of opportunities, and they can not capitalize on all of them.