Penguins bypass slow start to demolish Capitals, take commanding series lead


While Alex Ovechkin has four goals, Nicklas Backstrom has eight points and T.J. Oshie has nine points, it is Holtby who hasn't been able to match his regular-season numbers in the post-season.

When Ron Hainsey is your number one defenseman (he led the Pens in 5v5 TOI, anyways) how can you expect to compete with the team that has Orlov, Shattenkirk, Niskanen, Carlson, and Schmidt?

Take away the first minute and four seconds of the second period, when Sidney Crosby used his power-up to score twice, and the Penguins would have been left with a rather terrible opening to Round 2.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vezina Trophy victor Braden Holtby was yanked out of the Washington Capitals' net during Game 2 of their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, replaced in goal by Philipp Grubauer to start the third period Saturday night.

Pittsburgh took Game 1 of the series on Thursday night, 3-2. Early success last season covered up some of the team's deficiencies, so the Capitals didn't have the occasional lengthy postgame discussions like this year's team did.

"I think we can play better", Bonino said. It wasn't flawless by any stretch. "There's going to be times when they come at us, and there are going to be times when we go at them".

"I think I closed my eyes when I shot and thankfully it went in", Pageau said of the victor.

Marc-Andre Fleury was far superior in net, making 34 stops with just two goals getting behind him. Sullivan called Fleury the Penguins' best player, and even with Crosby's four points through two games he's not wrong. He scored twice and picked up an assist in Game 2, putting him in a tie with Sidney Crosby for second place among playoff scorers with 11 points in seven games. Already, they face long odds, as just 18 of the previous 87 teams to drop the first two games of a best-of-seven series at home have gone on to win the series, and only four in National Hockey League history have come back from a 3-0 deficit.

"I thought some of the goals he wasn't as sharp as he can be for us", Trotz said of Holtby. "I think we're happy to get the win, but they played a great game and we know they're going to get better too, so we've got to match that".

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"I'm really enjoying this time right now", a smiling Fleury said. "And that's where your goalie needs to come up with a save and I just didn't, so I was frustrated that I didn't do that". "It's fun to win".

The Capitals began the final period trailing 3-1 after Holtby allowed a short-handed goal to Matt Cullen, then a pair of scores set up by Crosby.

He has now been the difference for Pittsburgh in this series as Washington's net has been leaky.

Can the Washington Capitals clench the win on their own ice? It happens. Can't get too upset about it.

Presidents' Trophy winners the Capitals, who have a knack for wilting in the postseason, find themselves in a 2-0 series hole.

Pageau scored again 2:54 into the second OT, snapping in a shot during a 2-on-1 rush alongside Tommy Wingels. Letang makes his partner a near-elite player, and pushes everyone else down a peg.

"I couldn't see the puck for a little while there, I had no stick, so I was trying to make some stops", Fleury said. "But I think you have to give credit to our opponents, as well". He's relentless in his preparation, always working to hone each skill his toolbox to get incrementally better.

A scoreless first period didn't do much to help these teams hit the over in Game 1.

Slumping through the first half of the middle period, the Sens grabbed momentum by punishing the Rangers with a series of heavy shifts down low in the offensive zone.