Sports

Capitals Lose to Penguins in Game One Despite Deserving Win

Capitals Lose to Penguins in Game One Despite Deserving Win

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71), of Russian Federation, skates with the puck against Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Washington.

"I think we can play better", Bonino said. I think he has the ability to park things, and he'll park it.

Sure, Washington had a nice advantage in shots again in Game 2, but the Capitals don't have the stars up the middle that Pittsburgh does. Matt Niskanen added a goal and Alex Ovechkin had two assists. For the second straight game in this series, the Capitals had twice as many shot attempts but were outscored.

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

"The guys are still feeling good about our team, feeling good about our game", forward J.T. Miller said Monday at the team's practice facility.

You want to see puck management?

After Holtby allowed three goals on 14 shots, coach Barry Trotz pulled him and inserted Philipp Grubauer to start the third period.

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"I think that's the biggest thing for us", said Guentzel, who scored on a 2-on-1 and with an empty net and leads the playoffs with seven goals. "I was just trying to change the mojo".

Grubauer had 13 wins and a 2.04 GAA as the primary backup. They have never swept a four-game series. Malkin's deflection was initially waved off for goaltender interference, but the Penguins challenged and the call was overturned.

"That's leadership", Trotz said of the meeting. But they have to wonder: What can they do now, after they've given their nemesis their best shot and have nothing to show for it, to keep from going down in flames again?

Who was on the ice for Fleury's first playoff series, staring him down as they sang the anthem?

For his part, Holtby said it just wasn't his night. "He's a game-changer for us". At front is Capitals defenseman John Carlson.

That'll go up, though, as he works his way back to 100 percent. If a puck doesn't hit Jake Guentzel, if Fleury doesn't miraculously save the day with his mix of athleticism and desperation, if the Capitals found their way on a single power play.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven second-round series 1-0.

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"Four goals, that's absolutely sick", Senators coach Guy Boucher said. Washington did not have a power play in a playoff game for the first time since Game 7 of the first round against the New York Islanders in 2015.

The NHL's Eastern Conference semifinals have begun with victories by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. Kessel's wrister went off Holtby's arm and in on Pittsburgh's 12th shot of the game.

Once the second period started, it took only 64 seconds for Crosby to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. We've got to find some goals for him, too.

But Pittsburg made it 5-2 at 5:31. Capitals D Karl Alzner missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. RW Paul Carey replaced Brett Connolly in the Capitals' lineup. These two teams rely on their captains, and their captains rarely disappoint.

The New York Rangers are a -120 favorite against the -110 underdog Ottawa Senators with a 5-goal total in Saturday's playoff matinee.

Washington has lost in the second round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons and now has an uphill battle to avoid the same fate in 2107 after losing the opening two games at home.

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