Game 2 Fallout: Penguins – Capitals

The numbers say the Penguins are really lucky right now and the Capitals are very unlucky as Pittsburgh has taken a 2-0 series lead following a 6-2 win in Game 2.

Lucky or not, what matters is the Penguins are up 2-0 and now have home-ice as the series shifts to Pittsburgh.

The Penguins were out-attempted 88-45 Game 2 and have now been out-attempted 171 to 86, yet, have outscored the Capitals 9-4.

Pittsburgh improving to 6-1 in the playoffs, continue to prove you’re going to need more than just carrying the play to beat them. What the Penguins continue to do despite giving up a ton of attempts, is limit the high danger chances and at the other end bury their grade-A chances at a high rate.

Washington had 69 shot attempts at 5 vs 5 in Game 2 but was credited with just 7 high danger chances. The Penguins had six and scored on three.

The Penguins are playing with fire, that defense was brutal at times again in trying to move the puck, but they just have the will of a champion right now.

33 BLOCKED SHOTS in the win.

It’s amazing how Mike Sullivan and his coaching staff have transformed the Penguins into a group that puts their body on the line and what a two-way force Sidney Crosby was in the Game 2 victory, especially in the second period.

He took the game over again with his play in all three zones.

Among the key defensive moments from Crosby:

A huge block leading to a rush goal from Jake Guentzel that put the Penguins up 3-1 in the second period and ended Braden Holtby’s night.

Crosby then had a pass breakup in the final seconds of the period that would have got the Capitals within one.

Pittsburgh is just finding ways to get the job done, Washington isn’t.

In Game 2, the Penguins did an excellent job of not letting Washington’s best players get pucks to the net.

Alex Ovechkin had 3 shots on goal with Pittsburgh blocking six of Ovechkin’s attempts. Evgeny Kuznetsov limited to 3 shots, T.J. Oshie’s who yet to be a factor in the series, had 0 shots in the Game 2 loss for Washington.

Washington has out-classed Pittsburgh for long stretches in Games 1 and 2 where they could easily be up 2-0 but the Penguins are getting the results and this is a results business.

Pittsburgh’s high-end talent is out-performing Washington’s on the scoreboard, the Penguins are surprisingly getting the far superior goaltending for the second straight series against an elite goaltender and we’re seeing time after time, the Penguins find ways to withstand poor areas in their game that have popped up all playoffs.

Winner of Game 3 wins the Series?

Is this series over?

Everything says Pittsburgh for obvious reasons.

Beating the defending Stanley Cup champions four out of five games and having to win at least two games on the Penguins home-ice is a daunting task for a Capitals team that mentally still haven’t been able to get over the hump of the Penguins.

The Penguins are just too skilled and so tuned in right now, that it’s hard to bet against them that they won’t find a way to get two more wins.

The hole Washington has put themselves in, as poor as the Penguins have been in carrying the play to go with an unsustainable shooting percentage and save percentage they have so far, you have to think they have at least one game over these next two games in them like last series (Game 3) where they put together a really good performance and they’re the team that’s carrying play and tilting the ice.

On the flip side, you have to think Braden Holtby starts showing up and not to take anything away from Marc Andre Fleury who has been really good, but the bounces quit going his way and the Capitals become the team that starts getting lucky.

Pittsburgh has a golden opportunity in front of them for Game 3 on home-ice to bury the Capitals.

That said, whoever wins Game 3 is winning the series.

The Capitals are teetering on the brink of imploding but they’re also on the cusp of breaking out and if they get that breakthrough in Game 3, it’s not going to be good for Pittsburgh.

We’re either going to see an implosion from the Capitals in Game 3 that has this series ending in four or five games or we’re going to see them have a performance that has them storming back in the series and potentially winning it.

Playoff chokers and what not, the Penguins don’t want to give the Capitals any life.