Photo: Monumental Sports Network. TJ Oshie with the overtime game winning goal – and a *HAT TRICK* to boot! The Caps shut down the Pens, 4-3 in game one!
Firing up the fans and lighting up the Verizon Center with RED glow sticks to get the game started!
For the first time since 2009 playoffs, Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference matches up the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. Most all agree that the winner of this series will be showcased in Round Four of the Stanley Cup Finals. An extremely anxious Verizon Center awaited the 8pm puck drop where the Caps are looking for redemption by erasing their playoff ghosts once and for all. It wouldn’t be an easy task against the red-hot Pens but the Caps were up for the challenge.
Lyla Oshie may have had a conversation with her Dad earlier in the day. Her motivational video just might have given her Dad that little extra bit of confidence for his HAT TRICK performance! Let’s all tell Lyla to make more videos!
The starting line up for the Washington Capitals:
Caps Line Up Provided by: The Washington Capitals
And the starting line up for the Pittsbugh Penguins:
The Capitals started the game looking sloppy and disconnected. Luckily they came together fairly quickly, as the Pens really had command of the first several minutes of the game. The Capitals out-shot the Penguins 15-9 in the first period. As noted, it was a slower start out of the gates for the Caps, as they were out-shot 6-2 initially, but once they got themselves organized, they out-shot Pittsburgh 13-3 to close out the first period. There was a lot of pressure on our second and third lines to step up and Andre Burakovsky did just that and found the back of the net to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. The second period started out slow until there was a flurry of goals in 90 seconds. The Pens took a 2-1 lead on goals by Lovejoy and Malkin. The Caps tied things up thanks to an unassisted goal by Oshie. In the third, TJ got his second goal of the game right through the five hole of Murray to give Washington the lead – for a second or two, then Bonino’s goal at 8:42 tied it again at 3-3. The Caps almost got the game winner twice – almost being the operative word in that sentence! The red goal light illuminated, in one instance, however, somehow, someway – perhaps the same strange way a stick somehow landed in Beagle’s visor OR in between his blade – the puck did not cross the line. Niskanen’s slap shot went off the post and Chimera couldn’t put the loose puck across the line. Then Backstrom, sort of looking Tiger Woodish, pinged the biscuit off his stick right to Ovechkin – Ovi took off on the breakway, however, he couldn’t finish the and game ended 3-3 and onto overtime we’ll go. At 9:33 in OT, the star of the show, TJ Oshie, comes from behind the net and wrapped his stick around the post and just barely pushes the puck past Murray’s right pad. The game winner is also TJ’s third of the night and hats littered the ice! The goal was reviewed but the call on the ice stood, and the Capitals lead this series 1-0 after game one.
The Pens started out putting pressure on the Caps early, out-shooting them 6-2 in the first seven minutes of action. Matt Cullen was called for tripping Evgeny Kuznetsov at 6:15 and the power play that followed dramatically kick-started the Caps into gear and gave them some much needed momentum. Despite not scoring on the power play, the Caps fired off some excellent shots, then came a Swede, who landed the biscuit behind Murray at 10:13. Here’s how the play developed: an excellent defensive play leads to a fabulous offense play when a shot by Jason Chimera off a pass by Andre Burakovksy deflected off John Carlson and off of Pittsburgh goaltender Matthew Murray’s left pad. Burakovsky was positioned perfectly to put in the rebound to give the Caps the 1-0 edge.
The Caps got another power play at 5:15 with Kris LeTang getting called for interference but, again, did not couldn’t convert with the man advantage. The Penguins got some big momentum with two back-to-back goals. The first tally came at 10:40 from Ben Lovejoy, with the second coming 57 seconds later from Evgeni Malkin. The Caps snatched the momentum right back 33 seconds after that at 12:10 as T.J Oshie tied up the game with an unassisted spectacular goal. There was a questionable call at 13:00 with Malkin hitting Tom Wilson, however there was no penalty. Wilson was having none of that and retaliated which resulted in both taking a 2-minute seat in the sin bin. The Caps were out-shot in the second 17-7 but the tying goal by Oshie made it a 2-2 game as we enter the final twenty minutes of regulation.
At 3:23 Oshie scored his second straight goal to put the Caps ahead 3-2. TJ’s goal was assisted by Alex Ovechkin. The Pens got a power play at 5:33 when Kuznetsov was called for hooking. The play happened after some Pens players were knocking into Caps goaltender Braden Holtby. The power play was short-lived as Phil Kessel got called for tripping, making it 4-on-4 play. Pittsburgh evened the score at 8:42 on a goal by Bonino. The Caps headed to the power play at 10:53 as Lovejoy was sent to the box for tripping Burakovsky, however, they were unable to convert on the man advantage. Later in the period, a shot by Matt Niskanen went off the post. The puck laid behind Murray and Chimera tried to put it over the line but couldn’t. 5:16 left in regulation and still a tie game. Later on, Nicklas Backstrom fed Ovechkin with a nice pass. Backstrom ping’d the puck off his stick mid-air and it landed perfectly in front of Ovi as he was going on the breakaway. He couldn’t put it past Murray. The game headed to overtime.
Overtime was intense and lived up to the hype you’d expect between these two rivals. Both teams kept pushing, trying to get a puck in the back of the net to give their team the 1-0 series lead. The star of the show tonight, TJ Oshie broke through traffic and once again sent the puck over the line, even if it was just barely and required review – it was his third of the night – and a hat trick is a fabulous way to open up this series and to close down game one! At 9:33, Oshie wrapped his stick around the net and just pushed the puck past Murray’s right pad. As noted, the goal was reviewed but the call on the ice stood, since the puck completely crossed the line. And the Capitals lead this series 1-0 after game one.
The Verizon Center has never looked better! Way to rock the red, fans!
By Michael Marzzacco