After a rather eventful Game 2 victory at Capital One Arena in their second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals will look to pull ahead in the best of seven series on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. With some momentum in their favor, the Caps must use today’s victory to fuel what will likely be an intense game at PPG Paints Arena.
Captain Alex Ovechkin has scored in each of the series’ first two games (and has an assist to boot) and has been one of the Capitals’ best players, playing 18:39 of ice time in Game and a slightly less 18:28 in Game 2, while recording seven shots combined in the two games. With 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in eight games played in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Ovechkin continues to prove his thirst for the Stanley Cup is as strong as ever.
In both Games 1 and 2, the Capitals came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, jumping out to 2-0 and 3-0 leads, respectively, before allowing Pittsburgh to get on the board. However, the team has struggled to maintain that level of play throughout each game, as evidenced by their eventual 3-2 loss in Game 1, and the 16-6 shot total of Game 2’s second period (in favor of the Penguins). In order for the Capitals to ensure a Game 3 lead and victory, they must play a full 60 minutes in order to combat a Penguins team that will likely have some added fire of their own after what some believe to be a questionable no-goal call in Game 2 and the possible loss of defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
The Capitals must use their victory this afternoon as fuel to start and maintain a solid performance in Pittsburgh. If they can play and sustain the way they started both Games 1 and 2, they will be a very tough team to beat, even for the Black and Gold.
By Michael Fleetwood