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Insider Only Pens – Caps Fallout: Capitals win the momentum swings, clinch Metropolitan Division

Capitals 3 – Penguins 1

The Washington Capitals are Metropolitan Division Champions for the third straight season in defeating the Penguins 3-1 on Sunday night at the PPG Paints Arena.

As the Capitals are locked into the playing the first wildcard in Round 1, Pittsburgh with two games remaining can mathematically still finish anywhere from 2nd-3rd place in the Metropolitan Division to the top wildcard spot or the second wildcard spot.

Off great goaltending from Philipp Grubauer, the Capitals won the momentum swings tonight as they were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and very opportunistic offensively.

Tom Wilson scored a beautiful goal off a deflection 23 seconds into the third that iced this one to put the Capitals ahead 3-0.

For the Capitals, this was just one of those complete game type performances where they rose to the occasion in a number of areas to come out of Pittsburgh with the win.


Post-Game Buzz

— Washington controlled the play at even-strength in being +8 in scoring chances, 55% in possession and out-scoring Pittsburgh 3-1.

From the Penguins end, though, they didn’t play a bad game by any means. The Capitals just made more plays at critical moments to get the ‘W’. The Penguins might have went 0-5 on the power play but they had some great looks they just couldn’t get by Grubauer.

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— One of Matt Hunwick’s biggest issues this season as a Penguin has been the inability to stay in his proper lanes with his gap control.

While Malkin lost his man in the neutral zone, the T.J. Oshie first period goal saw Hunwick badly out of position and almost on top of Jamie Oleksiak who is the right D that led to the Penguins having no line of defense

. If Hunwick’s six feet to the left where he should be, he easily gets to Oshie to breakup the shot or force a contested shot.

The Dmitry Orlov goal against was another frustrating goal for the Penguins to give up defensively where Olli Maatta is too passive in a situation he had support to step up with two backcheckers.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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