Game 2 Fallout: After Further Review………


Game 2 Fallout Penguins – Capitals is all evened up at 1-1 after a Washington 4-1 win in Game 2. For the Penguins heading into the series, to split in Washington without Evgeni Malkin was something the Penguins would surely take coming in. Yet, the Penguins game 2 loss has a lot to dissect and certainly had its share of controversies: What Went Wrong Early Again? The Penguins fell into the trap again of chasing the game and it was deja vu with the same issues. Poor reads in being too aggressive with the D-men pinching haunted the Penguins (with no forwards covering) in Washington getting out in transition. The Capitals exploiting the Penguins over-aggressiveness in pinching was something that stood out late in the regular season as a problematic area that could backfire for the Penguins against the right team. It wasn’t much of an issue in round 1Read More »

Game 1 Analysis: Penguins elevating their play in high pressure situations continued against the Capitals


Penguins 3 – Capitals 2 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 1-0) GAME LEADERS PIT Matt Murray | 32 Saves, .941 SV% PIT Jake Guentzel | Goal, 2 Assists PIT Sidney Crosby | Goal, Assist WSH Alex Ovechkin | Goal, Assist WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov | Goal GAME 1 ANALYSIS Matt Murray is a 2-time Stanley Cup Champion goaltender who thrives in pressure situations. Braden Holtby is not. The Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 1 turned out to be ‘Groundhog Day’ for Washington. Braden Holtby shutout the Penguins through the first forty minutes and Alex Ovechkin scored 28 seconds into the third period to put the Capitals ahead 2-0. Things were surely trending to be the Capitals night with a 2-0 lead in the third and a game Washington absolutely had to take advantage of with Pittsburgh missing Evgeni Malkin. But, the game would turn out to be howRead More »

Pens – Capitals Series Buzz: Evgeni Malkin’s Availability, Potential Effectiveness in playing through injury in a Toss-Up Series


Evgeni Malkin’s Availability/Potential Effectiveness Makes Penguins-Capitals even more of a toss-up Penguins – Capitals is a clear toss-up as the two rivals meet for the third straight year. Evgeni Malkin’s availability makes it even more of a toss-up. The Penguins three most important players towards repeating is Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Matt Murray. The Penguins can’t lose one of them for an extended period. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on Wednesday officially ruled out Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1. Hagelin is going to miss multiple games in the series, if not the whole series, that’s the Penguins mindset going in, sources say. Evgeni Malkin is more of a wildcard. A league source with knowledge of the situation says Malkin has an injury that would sideline for at least growing belief Malkin will return to the lineup somewhere between The good news for the Penguins is that the teamRead More »

Round 2: Will this year finally be different for the Capitals?


Penguins – Capitals Meet Again in Round 2 With a 6-3 win in Game 6 over the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night, the Washington Capitals won four straight to punch their ticket to another second-round matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Will this year be any different? Everyone knows the history……. The Penguins have won nine of 10 series vs the Capitals and are 3-0 in the Sidney Crosby era with the Capitals losing two Game 7’s on home-ice by a combined 8-2 score. Last year seemed like the year the Capitals should have finally got the job done. Pittsburgh was without their No. 1 goaltender, No. 1 defenseman and even lost Sidney Crosby to injury for Game 4. Yet in Penguins fashion when these two teams get together, Pittsburgh won Game 4 without Crosby to go up 3-1 in the series, then lost control of the series as the CapitalsRead More »

Penguins Advance: On Jake Guentzel Sinking the Flyers, Pittsburgh’s 3rd Pairing Woes, Crosby – Giroux


Game 6 Analysis Nine Straight Playoff Series Wins, three more to go for a Penguins Three-Peat to be complete. Jake Guentzel scored 4 goals and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Philadelphia Flyers 8-5 on Sunday afternoon to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The Penguins in ousting the Flyers in six games, scored six unanswered goals to close out the game after being on the ropes and trailing 4-2 in the second period. How special was Guentzel’s big-time performance? — While Jake Guentzel produced a five point game in a winning effort, Sean Couturier became just the second player in NHL history to record five points in a playoff game and have his team lose. Couturier playing with a torn MCL had a hat trick and two assists. Couturier was sensational in the series, especially considering the circumstances of his injury, finishing with 5 goals andRead More »

Game 5 Analysis: On Flyers extending the series, Penguins Lack of Killer Instinct Late in Period 2 & More Buzz


Flyers 4 – Penguins 2 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 3-2) The Philadelphia Flyers have extended the series and forced a Game 6 with a 4-2 win on Friday Night at the PPG Paints Arena. Sean Couturier broke a 2-2 tie with a 1:15 left in regulation and Matt Read added an empty netter as the Flyers staved off elimination. The loss for the Penguins was more about the Penguins themselves than the Flyers. Pittsburgh had a meh performance through the first half of the game, which was even in play, but the Penguins started finding their legs in the second period, big game Bryan Rust tied the game at 1-1 (12:00 mark) and then Jake Guentzel put the Penguins up 2-1 with his second goal of the playoffs, 4:45 later. Momentum was all with the Penguins and then 17 seconds after the Guentzel goal, Pittsburgh goes on the power play asRead More »

Game 4 Analysis: Penguins have reached a level where Flyers have mentally checked out


Penguins 5 – Flyers 0 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 3-1) PIT LEADERS Matt Murray | 26 Saves, 1.000 SV% Sidney Crosby | Goal, Assist Phil Kessel | Goal, Assist Evgeni Malkin | Goal, Assist Kris Letang | Goal Riley Sheahan | Goal GAME 4 ANALYSIS Game 3 felt like the Pittsburgh Penguins ended the Flyers season, most notably the momentum changing plays Matt Murray and Sidney Crosby provided in period one of Game 3. Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win in Game 4 vs the Flyers further cemented the Flyers have reached the point where they know they can’t beat the Penguins. Matt Murray with a 26 save-shutout was dominant again in the first period, stopping all 10 shots in the period including a breakaway save. Murray with 4 shutouts in his last six playoff games, has boasted a .972 save percentage in the first period of this series. For the underdog Flyers, Murray’sRead More »

Game 4 Storyline: Impact on series of injuries to Hornqvist, Couturier


Game 4 Storyline The Pittsburgh Penguins look to go up 3-1 in the series against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and one of the storylines entering tonight is a key injury on both sides. For Philadelphia, it’s the uncertainty surrounding a lower body injury to top-line center Sean Couturier who taken was out in a wicked collision with goon defenseman Radko Gudas in Tuesday’s practice. If Couturier can suit up, there’s still questions of how effective he will be. For as great as Sidney Crosby has been in the series, 4 goals and 3 assists in 7 games, Couturier at full strength is the Flyers only hope of slowing down Crosby who is at 48% in possession head-to-head vs Couturier in the series and at 66% when away from Couturier. For Pittsburgh, it’s the loss of Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins won a playoff game last postseason against a much better WashingtonRead More »

Game 3 Analysis: Matt Murray, Sidney Crosby & Championship Prowess of weathering the storm


Penguins 5 – Flyers 1 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 2-1) Brian Elliott turned back into Brian Elliott and the Pittsburgh Penguins are now up 2-1 in the series. Matt Murray stopped 26 of 27 shots, while Sidney Crosby was doing Sidney Crosby things again with a goal, 3 assists in a 5-1 Penguins win. The brilliance of Sidney Crosby and Matt Murray might have won the series in the first period. Philadelphia came out of the gates with a major surge, dominating play but Murray shut the door on every opportunity highlighted by a breakaway save on Nolan Patrick. After one period the Flyers had a 29-12 edge in shot attempts, 19-3 edge in scoring chances and 10-1 advantage in high danger chances, yet Murray and Crosby were the story after 20 minutes as Murray turned aside all 11 shots and Sidney Crosby scored a wrap-around goal at 10:25 of theRead More »

Game 2 Analysis: Brian Elliott, Special Teams & Momentum Swings


Flyers 5 – Penguins 1 (Series Tied, 1-1) Penguins – Flyers is all tied up as the series shifts to Philadelphia Sunday afternoon. Brian Elliott stopped 34 of 35 shots and the Flyers turned the tables on Pittsburgh with a 5-1 win in Game 2 to tie the series at 1-1. “Said it coming in, nobody really is giving us a serious chance in this series,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I don’t Know if anybody still will. But I know this, we just it down to a five game series and we introduced ourselves into this series tonight.” The Penguins 7-0 win in Game 1 was so impressive and spelled so much trouble for the Flyers because of how Pittsburgh excelled in  possessing of a number of matchup problems, that in reality Philadelphia’s only answer to some of them is getting great goaltending. Well the Flyers got exceptionalRead More »