The Pittsburg Penguins soundly defeated the NY Rangers in Round One of the playoffs.Should the Capitals be successful in their drive to win Round One, they will face the Pens at Verizon next week.
Facing the Pens won’t be an easy round for the Caps, especially now that Evgeni Malkin is back on the active roster. Even Sidney Crosby has come to life in the playoffs with three goals and five assists. And lets not forget Matt Cullen…he kind of did a number on the Caps too.
Goaltender Marc Andre-Fluery has yet to return from his concussion-causing injury. He is skating, although not with the team. Press reports suggest his return could happen “soon.” In the meantime, count on Matt Murray who has three playoff wins under his belt in the net, backed up by Jeff Zatkoff who has one playoff win this season.
The Caps will need to continue to play a physical game against the Pens and avoid the penalty box as much as possible. The defense will need to be stronger than ever and more a net presence protecting Braden Holtby. If the Caps find themselves in Round Two, we expect it to go seven as each team brings the thirst for a win every time they step on the ice.