Quick Start Helps Capitals Beat Penguins 4-1; Series Tied 1-1


Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena. The Capitals win ties-up the second round series at one game apiece. Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana would notch first period tallies to give the Caps a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Brett Connolly would make it 3-0 before Kris Letang got the birds on the board, making it 3-1 at the second intermission. Nicklas Backstrom would add an empty net goal late in the third period, as the Capitals hung on for the 4-1 win. The series now heads north to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Tuesday. 

STARTERS
Braden Holtby (4-2, 2.10 GAA, .924 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Matt Murray (5-2, 2.17 GAA, .917 sv%) started in goal for the Penguins. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 2:

Forward lines:
Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Stephenson-Backstrom-Oshie
Connolly-Eller-DSP
Vrana-Beagle-Chiasson
Defensive pairs:
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Djoos

Scratches: Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerebek and Andre Burakovsky (upper body injury).

FIRST PERIOD
The Capitals once again started the game with a quick tally. This time Alex Ovechkin would snap a wrister from the top of the slot 1:26 into the opening stanza. The goal came on the Capitals first shot on goal of the game.

The Capitals led 11-5 in shots on goal with 9:31 remaining in the opening frame. The Capitals would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal by Jakub Vrana at 14:54 of the first period. The Penguins challenged for goaltender interference but the call on the ice was upheld. This was Vrana’s first career postseason goal.

The first period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. The Capitals outshot the Penguins 20-10 for the first 20 minutes.

SECOND PERIOD
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-0 early in the middle frame with a break away goal from Brett Connolly at 2:08 of the second period. Lars Eller was credited with the only assist.

The Penguins would finally get on the scoreboard with a goal from Kris Letang at 13:04 of the middle frame, making it 3-1.

The second period would end with the Capitals leading 3-1. Pittsburgh outshot the Caps 16-6 for the middle frame.

THIRD PERIOD
The Capitals and Penguins battled to a scoreless draw in the final frame, at the Capitals would hang on for the 4-1 win.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals were 0 and 6 in last 6 game 1’s and Game 2’s of postseason play. 1 and 8, All on home ice, heading into the game.
  • Brett Connolly increased the Capitals lead to 3-0. That marks his first career playoff goal.
  • Lars Eller recorded three assists, his first three points of the playoffs.
  • Tom Wilson recorded an assist, his fourth of the playoffs. Wilson also led the team with seven hits.
  • Brooks Orpik led the team with five blocked shots.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 409th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
  • The NHL box score is here.

By Jon Sorensen

SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT

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Game 2 rally towel art. (📸 @adam_kels)

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Let’s go Caps!!! #washingtoncapitals #playoffs

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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11 Responses to Quick Start Helps Capitals Beat Penguins 4-1; Series Tied 1-1

  1. Just three more like this and the gorilla will be finally be off our backs…if we can bag one on Pittsburgh we’ll win in seven–perhaps 6,,,but I’ll take what I can get!

    Clifford
    SM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cliff, we could have easily won game 1… the magic number this year and last is 3 – the first team to score 3 will win the game

    Liked by 1 person

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