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Insider Only X’ & O’s: Penguins dictate style of play in getting Capitals out of their structure in 6-2 win


The Washington Capitals opened the game buzzing, owning the territorial edge and giving the Penguins fits on the forecheck with hard dump-ins that Marc Andre Fleury struggled to control. It looked like a re-run of the second and third periods of the previous matchup between the two clubs.

Pittsburgh didn’t record their first shot until 6:41 into the game but again the Penguins came out of a poor start with the game 0-0.

Where this game quickly turned for Pittsburgh was in a similar manner the Penguins have been able to exploit the Capitals in the previous two meetings. When the Capitals get out of their structure, Pittsburgh can make Washington pay in a way some teams can’t and Sunday night was no different.

On Bryan Rust’s opening goal of the game, Washington gets three skaters caught deep in the offensive zone and Pittsburgh is off with a 4-on-3 rush that has Ian Cole making a great play at the blueline with Mike Weber stepping up and an even better individual play from Tom Kuhnhackl who shields his body, turns and sets up a streaking Bryan Rust who finishes the play off.

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The Penguins were often so good under Dan Bylsma in their ability to not just score a momentum changing goal but to get another one quickly. This team has that important trait about them again.

A 1:59 later, Trevor Daley gives the Penguins a 2-0 lead just 9:59 into the first period. Just like that Pittsburgh took complete control of the game.

Sidney Crosby’s dominance on the forecheck led to the Daley goal.

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Crosby takes an excellent angle in forcing the lefty Dmitry Orlov to his backhand Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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