Evgeni Malkin is officially a game-time decision for Game 3 but the expectation is Malkin will suit up for the first time this series tomorrow night. Malkin who was targeting a Game 2 return, was held out Sunday afternoon and took another step towards returning for Game 3 with a full practice today. Malkin centered Dominik Simon and Bryan Rust on the second line. A surprising development for the Penguins isn’t Malkin’s impending return, as the Penguins internally believed Malkin would return somewhere between Games 2-4, but it’s Carl Hagelin’s availability to return soon in the series. Hagelin took part in his first practice and while he’s being deemed as a longshot to play in Game 3, he’s tracking towards a return by Game 4. Like Malkin, Sullivan officially labeled Hagelin as a game-time decision.
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 »
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 »
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 of the NHL Playoffs is Set: EASTERN CONFERENCE Boston vs Tampa Bay Pittsburgh vs Washington WESTERN CONFERENCE San Jose vs Vegas Winnipeg vs Nashville PENGUINS – CAPITALS ROUND 2 SCHEDULE Game 1: Thursday April 26th, 7:00 p.m. Game 2: Sunday April 29th, 3:00 p.m. Game 3: Tuesday May 1, 7:30 p.m. Game 4: Thursday May 3, 7:00 p.m. Game 5: Saturday May 5, TBD Game 6: Monday May 7, TBD Game 7: Wednesday May 9, TBD
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 »
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 »
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 »