Penguins chase Holtby, beat Capitals to take 2-0 series lead

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia chases the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist, of Sweden during Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Thursday

Does it feel like we've seen this fish before? Thus far in the 2017 playoffs, the winger already has 11 points with seven assists and four goals, two of which came Saturday night.

That marked the end of Holtby's night after two periods as the 2016 Vezina Trophy victor was again not at his best as Fleury stole the show. And we all know how the Caps handle pressure.

"I think we've just got to take a deep breath here and realize what we did right in the first period", defenseman Brooks Orpik said.

Coach Mike Sullivan said Hagelin will be a game-time decision to return for Game 2 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night after being out since March 10 with a lower-body injury. "In the first series (against the Columbus Blue Jackets), the first two games here, he's made timely saves for us, especially in that first period".

Holtby was also hard on himself after the game.

It's unknown why Holtby is struggling so much at this point.

"I thought on some of the goals he wasn't as sharp as he can be for us", coach Barry Trotz said. These two teams rely on their captains, and their captains rarely disappoint.

This isn't the first time Pageau has scored a hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We know we're better in this locker room", goaltender Braden Holtby said.




The Penguins are rolling again after eliminating Columbus, but the absence of Letang is significant after he logged 31:36 of ice time per game a year ago. Don't underestimate Ovechkin though; the playoffs bring out a completely different beast in these players. He now has seven goals in seven games this postseason.

Guentzel, whose first goal of the game came after Crosby laid out on the ice to block a shot before he chipped the puck to Guentzel, said it's hard to be surprised by all the wonderful stuff Crosby does. Their story to be continued...

Holtby shook his head when asked whether he'd been told whether he'd start Game 3. This year, their season opened in Pittsburgh, and they were forced to watch the Penguins raise their Stanley Cup banner.

Now I'm not trying to mock the Capitals or downgrade them as a team. The visiting player taking the faceoff used to have to put his stick down first, and now instead it's the player on his defensive side of the ice.

Six minutes into the third period, Washington had a 32-13 advantage in hits.

"It's just great to see him get rewarded: four-goal game, overtime victor". I don't need to go into details. They threw the kitchen sink at goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and he kicked it aside. So now it's about breaking every single game down, focusing on the moment, living in the moment, not worrying about statistics or the standings in the series. He wasn't even supposed to be in this position a month ago and is now stealing playoff games. When Murray couldn't loosen up pain-free for Game 1 of the playoffs the Pens had to look back in Fleury's direction.

Nick Bonino is a Capitals killer.

After Ovechkin regained some momentum for the Capitals, they eventually tied the game at 8:05 of the third period on a goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov. But after giving up three goals on 21 shots in Game 1 to the Penguins, Holtby was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots in Game 2. In a game against the Boston Bruins in December, Washington squandered a three-goal lead before prevailing in overtime. "There's going to be times when they come at us, and there are going to be times when we go at them".

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