Caps-Pens: The Challenge of Captains & Goalies

Here we are again friends – Capitals versus Penguins in the second round of the NHL Playoffs. Fans on both sides are betting on their team. Thursday night we had the first glimpse of what lies ahead this series. One thing we know is it’s gonna be physical and there is no telling who will make it through.

The game started with Nick;as Backstrom winning the first faceoff against Pens Captain Sidney Crosby and they were off to battle! First five minutes were fast and furious with the Caps getting the first shot on goal (SOG). The Pens had the first power play when Alex Ovechkin went to the naughty bin for interference. Five became 10 minutes of pass the puck with the Pens out shooting 3-1. (note with 44 seconds on the ice, Brett Connolly was the only Cap with a SOG – yes Connolly) Caps had one really good chance with about four minutes left in the period – T.J. Oshie did his best but couldn’t break past Marc-Andre Fleury. Period ended scoreless.

The second period made us cry–really it MADE US CRY!!!

Crosby would score not once, but twice in 52 seconds!!  That’s all we are going to say about it…. With 1:43 left in the period, the Capitals captain slammed one right over flower and it didn’t get called back!!!  A Verizon Center went N U T S!!!  2-1 Pens at the end of the period. With 18 seconds or so left, we had our first real scrum as the pressure finally let go for both teams.

Third period started with a little four-on-four as a result of the scrum. Just as we were starting to think the Caps wouldn’t score B A M Evegny Kuznetsov with a clever wrist shot ties it up and has an incredible celle as the Weagle Lands!!  The sleeping giant is awake again.

Tie wouldn’t hold long as Nick Bonino dodges a third goal for the Pens in the net 3-2 now. Matt Niskanen would give the Pens another advantage by heading to the penalty box for slashing. At the 2:45 mark there was a strong effort in front of Fleury, the Caps pushed and shoved, they whacked and rolled Fleury over, and still the Caps just couldn’t make it happen.

In the end it was 3-2 in the Pens favor. Thankfully Crosby didn’t get a hat trick.

There were so many close calls and times it looked like the puck would go in and nothing could get past Flower.It felt a lot like last season with Murray. The Caps need to look a the tapes and find out what they can do to improve their success rate. Saturday will surely continue to battle between the captains and become more physical. The trick will be for the Caps to avoid penalties which give the Pens the advantage.

We’ll try to get you some photos later.

Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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