Penguins 2 – Capitals 0: The Champs are Moving On


Penguins 2 – Capitals 0 Off to the Conference Finals for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pittsburgh Penguins on goals from Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist, knocked out the President Trophy winners for the second straight season with a 2-0 win in Game 7. Washington’s momentum from Games 5 and 6 did not carry over into Game 7 and the Penguins showed tonight why they’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions. From Marc Andre Fleury between the pipes, to skaters 1-18, it was a vintage Penguin performance in everyone doing what it took to deliver a win. The Penguins withstood an early surge as the Capitals had four shots in the first 2:18, only to hold the Capitals without a shot for the next 13 minutes in period one. The Penguins started to get to their game and would then be the one’s to rise to the occasion from there. Mr. EliminationRead More »

Game 7 Series Buzz: Can Penguins halt the Capitals momentum?


Game 7 Series Buzz Will the Penguins all-time record on the road in Game 7’s improve to 6-0 after tonight? The Penguins might not have momentum in the series anymore but Game 7’s in hockey are not easy to predict. Who rises to the moment and who doesn’t is what determines who comes out on top of what is a one game playoff tonight. With the way the last two games have gone, we should see very early where this game is going to trend. Teams that score the first goal in Game 7’s are 124-42 all-time. For Pittsburgh, how they start is going to tell the story with how the Capitals have taken over the series since the third period of Game 5. Pittsburgh needs to strike early or at least establish their pace in carrying the play and start to get in the Capitals heads again. A strongRead More »

Game 6 Breakdown: Capitals have taken over the Neutral Zone


Game 6 Fallout Key Area Capitals have taken over series The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost control of the series in a matter of four periods. “Thought we controlled a lot of the zone time. Thought we won a lot of the battles,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said of his club after Monday night’s 5-2 win in Game 6. The Penguins have been outscored 8-2 over the last four periods and most glaring is the lack of shots getting on net for the Penguins. Over the last six periods the Penguins shot totals have been 7, 3, 12, 3, 6, and 9. The Capitals have figured something out. “We moved our feet. We stayed in the battle,” Trotz said. “I thought our tracking game was really good. I thought our structure was really good. I thought our communication in terms of responsibilities and our coverages were pretty solid. When you doRead More »

Dominant Caps Force a Game 7


Capitals 5 – Penguins 2 The series is heading to a seventh game and all of the momentum is with the home team Wednesday night. The Washington Capitals put on a mockery of the Penguins Monday night at the PPG Paints Arena in a dominant 5-2 victory. Washington held Pittsburgh to eight shots through the first 40 minutes of the game and scored three times on their first 17 shots, the dagger being an odd-man rush goal from Nicklas Backstrom 16 seconds into the third period that buried the hapless  Penguins tonight. A good way to sum up the Penguins performance was lifeless but credit goes to the Capitals. They executed a great game plan and the Capitals beat the Penguins in every facet and frustrated the Penguins throughout. For the first time in the Mike Sullivan era, the opposition looks to be in the Penguins heads and Pittsburgh beingRead More »

Series Buzz: Penguins eyeing more balance to matchup against Caps line changes from Game 5


Series Buzz Game 6: Capitals @ Penguins Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals saw a shake of the lines pay dividends in the third period of Game 5 and tonight in Game 6 it will be the Pittsburgh Penguins shaking things up. In a close out situation again, Mike Sullivan and the Penguins coaching staff are experimenting with going back to the HBK line as there was a shakeup this morning with the top-9: Sidney Crosby centered Conor Sheary and Patric Hornqvist; Evgeni Malkin centering Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust; Nick Bonino centering his old pals Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel with Chris Kunitz – Matt Cullen – Tom Kuhnhackl rounding out the four lines. It’s basically the same top three lines as last post-season, with the rookie Guentzel in Kunitz’ place on the Malkin line. “We’re trying to put lines together that we think gives us the best chanceRead More »

Game 5 Fallout: From Holtby to the Capitals stars, they have life heading into Game 6


Game 5 Fallout: Momentum trending towards Capitals? The Pittsburgh Penguins closing out the series in five games that would have included winning all three games on the road never would have seemed to be in the cards prior to the series starting. Yet, here were the Penguins Saturday night holding a 2-1 lead after two periods and Pittsburgh’s stifling play defensively had the Capitals lifeless. Barry Trotz playing Alex Ovechkin on the third line looked like a disaster as Ovechkin was invisible through two periods and Pittsburgh’s opening goal came against the Ovechkin-Eller-Wilson line when an Eller’s turnover in the neutral zone led to the Penguins striking first. Things, though, would change seconds into the third period. A big Braden Holtby save on Tom Kuhnhackl early in the third prevented the Penguins going up 3-1 and the Penguins uncharacteristically quit skating on the backcheck and Washington exposed their poor gapRead More »

Off-Day Buzz: Crosby Skates; Penguins long-term goaltending situation to change?


Off-Day Buzz: Crosby Skates The Pittsburgh Penguin were off today and not practicing but it wasn’t an off-day for Sidney Crosby. Recovering from a concussion suffered in Monday’s Game 3, Crosby skated in full gear this morning and it wasn’t just a casual skate. “I can confirm Sid skated today and is in the process of rehabbing,” head coach Mike Sullivan said during a conference call. “We’ll just leave it at that. He’s day to day and keeping each day as it comes. We rely on our medical staff and they’re good at what they do. He’s in the [rehabilitation] process right now and will continue to be, and it will be a day-to-day situation.” This doesn’t mean by any means that Crosby is going to return this series but no one with the team is ready to rule it out just yet. The optimism continues. There was talk insideRead More »

Game 4: Every Penguin that puts on a sweater showing special trait of doing ‘whatever it takes to win’


Game 4: Penguins 3 – Capitals 2 Behind a 36 save performance from Marc Andre Fleury, the Pittsburgh Penguins hung on for dear life to secure a 3-2 win in Game 4 and put the Washington Capitals on the brink of elimination. What many will be talking about is the Capitals outshot Pittsburgh 38-18 and out-attempted the Penguins 72-39. That’s now three games this series where the Capitals had at least 72 shot attempts and lost. The Penguins once again had the Capitals chasing the game for most of the night. So, yeah the Penguins continue to defy logic, they continue to get lucky, Dmitry Orlov putting a back into his own net tonight, T.J. Oshie getting called for a high sticking penalty in the final two minutes when his stick never hit Nick Bonino’s face, but at the end of the day, they just continue winning and maybe weRead More »

Game 4 Series Buzz: Will it be Washington’s night?


Game 4 Series Buzz Tonight’s Game 4 is going to be a fascinating one. There are so many storylines that could or won’t play out. You now also have some war of words starting with Phil Kessel calling Jay Beagle an “idiot” and so on. Without Kris Letang and Matt Murray, the Penguins have continued to carry on, debunking all the numbers to be 6-2 in the post-season and with a 2-1 series lead over the President Trophy winners. Now we get to find out if they can continue to go against the grain and survive without Sidney Crosby, the games best player, who has hands down also evolved into the best 200-foot player in the game over the last year and a half. “He’s the best 200-foot player in the game in my estimation,” Mike Sullivan said of Crosby after his dominating two-way performance in Game 2. “He playsRead More »