A Sign of a Stanley Cup Type team?
Eric Fehr’s late goal in the third period with 4:28 left in regulation secured a Penguins 2-1 victory in Game 2 as the series shifts to Pittsburgh tied 1-1.
The Penguins grinding out this victory played out like so many others in the past between these two organizations where the Penguins are 7-1 all-time vs Washington in playoff series’.
In a game Pittsburgh dominated in the first two periods, out-shooting Washington 28-10, and out-attempting Washington 63-25 after forty minutes, yet, the Penguins only held a 1-0 lead despite five power play opportunities.
The third period was so Washington when it comes to their haunted playoff past of not getting over the hump.
Washington for the first time in the game, began to find their game minutes into the third. The ice was finally tilting in their direction and a Marcus Johansson power play goal, 4:08 into the third tied the game at 1-1.
Braden Holtby gave them a chance to steal one by keeping the game close through the first two periods and the puck was on their stick several times in the third period with grade-A chances to pull ahead.
Alex Ovechkin 2-on-1 with under 10 minutes, Burakovsky can’t get it upstairs on Murray
Nicklas Backstrom 2-on-1 with 8:58 remaining, Matt Murray shuts the door.
Alex Ovechkin point blank chance in front with 7:12 remaining, save by Murray
With 6 minutes remaining in the third, no better chance was missed than Mike Richards with a wide open attempt in front from 20 ft out. A glorious chance that was shot wide off a beautiful setup from Jason Chimera.
What happens next?
Exactly a 1:32 later from Richards missing the net, Eric Fehr redirects a pass from Evgeni Malkin past Braden Holtby for the go-ahead goal.
Prior to the finish by Fehr, Malkin wins a puck battle by lifting the stick of a tired Ovechkin on a long-shift, than Fehr goes to the net and gets inside position on Brooks Orpik for the goal.
Series are won and lost in these type of games. From Pittsburgh’s standpoint, a Stanley Cup type team finds a way to close it out when they were the superior team for the bulk of the game.
They got the job done in a situation where things were favoring the Capitals in period three. From Washington’s standpoint, if they don’t win this series I think they’ll be looking back to this one.
As bad as they played in the first two periods, they put themselves in great position to win a game they didn’t deserve but just couldn’t get that second one past Matt Murray. Interesting enough the game was in the hands of their best players for a handful of their grade-A chances.
Tonight it was Pittsburgh getting the clutch play that happens so often when these two organizations get together, this time from a former Capital in Eric Fehr.
Matt Murray’s play in the third period also can’t get overlooked. He made 14 saves, several outstanding ones and his positioning on shot attempts played a part in the Capitals missing wide.
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