Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round Two, Day Six

There is only one game this night – the Washington Capitals vs the Pittsburgh Penguins, aka “Attack of the Peeps”.

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is actually on the Penguins bench, but Matt Murray is again in net. Olli Maatta is still out, presumably with a concussion but no one is actualy saying it.

Dmitry Orlov is in for Brooks Orpik, who is serving the first game of a three-game suspension.

First Period

Early in the period, Bryan Rust limps down the tunnel after a shot block. He will not return.
The Caps get the early pressure, but Matt Murray is solid. After a while, the Pens start getting a few more opportunities, then Patric Hornqvist (or Sidney Crosby) redirects a Trevor Daley shot, and Penguins are up 1-0.

Later this Tom Kühnhackl off-the-shoulder goal happens.

Meanwhile, the Caps are making some shots as well. After a big save, the Pittsburgh crowd starts shouting “Murray! Murray!” The dude’s playing well.

Then Kris Letang makes a late hit which will get quite a lot of scrutiny, possibly more than it deserves.

Marcus Johansson caught a shoulder to the jaw, went down hard and did not come back during the period. Letang leaps into the hit but it is not really late. Count on Barry Trotz to petition for a three-game suspension.

Once Letang gets out of the sin bin, he and TJ Oshie take turns selling trivial slashes to drap penalties. End of Period One. Pens lead 2-0. SOG: Caps 14, Pens 8. Phil Kessel will still be in the box to start the 2nd.

Second period

Johansson comes back for the 2nd period, but Bryan Rust does not. Johansson is hitting everything in sight. Because the City of Townsville must pay.

But so is Letang. However, everyone on the ice is trying to hit him as well.

Chris Kunitz catches Justin Williams in the gut with a stick.

At this point, the Caps are generating more attacking zone time and more shots, but not quite dominating. With a solid Matt Murray performance, it hasn’t been enough.

Braden Holtby is not having a wonderful game. Late in the period, he’s mostly on his own against Nick Bonino. He boxes out any direct shot, but not the pass through the paint. Carl Hagelin puts it away, and the Penguins are up by 3-0.

The Second Period ends. Capitals have once again won the shot count at 14-6, but have fallen to 3-0 on the scoreboard.

Third Period

There are a few big saves early on in either end, but it is 8 minutes into the period before Ovi makes a successful snipe. Score is now 3-1.

The Caps put a lot of pressure on Murray this period, particularly in the aftermath of the goal.

Carl Hagelin takes a poorly timed tripping penalty, and the Caps go to work. It’s a shooting gallery, but the Penguins are blocking shot after shot. There are 7 shots on goal in 3 minutes. Many more shots are blocked.

The Capitals go empty net as they approach the eighteen-minute-mark.

Ovi does not like a slash from Phil Kessel resulting in some unpunished slap fighting.

With under one minute left this happens:

The Caps have cut the lead to 3-2.

The Capitals are given 0:55 to make up the one-point-deficit, and attack furiously but are not getting clean shots on goal. The Penguins survive to fight another day.

Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2.
SOG: Caps 49, Pens 23,
Shot blocking: Pens 19, Caps 6.
Faceoffs 50%/50%
Hits Caps 58, Pens 25.

Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1.

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Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.

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