2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game #2
#2 Pittsburgh Penguins at #1 Washington Capitals
Capitals Lead the Best of Seven Series 1-0
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Opening Line: Capitals -131 / Penguins +111
Current Line: Capitals -120 / Penguins +100
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total: over 5 -130 / under 5 +110
The Washington Capitals won game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night in a 4-3 overtime thriller. Game two is Saturday night in Washington before the series moves to Pittsburgh for game three Monday.
Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Sullivan. The Penguins finished second in the Metropolitan Division with 104 points. Pittsburgh dominated the New York Rangers in 5 games in the first round. The Penguins outscored the Rangers 21-10 in the series.
Washington is coached by Barry Trotz. The Capitals won the Metropolitan Division with 120 points and also the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league. After outscoring the Philadelphia Flyers 12-2 in the first three games, Washington lost the next two games. The Capitals wrapped up the series in game six in Philadelphia.
In game one, Washington took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a goal from Andre Burakovsky. ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored less than a minute apart midway though the second to make it 2-1 Penguins. T.J. Oshie tied it up for the Caps less than a minute later. Oshie scored early in the third to give Washington a 3-2 lead. Pittsburgh tied it up five minutes later on a goals from Nick Bonino. Neither team scored again in regulation. Oshie scored the hat trick with an overtime game winner midway through the first extra period. Pittsburgh had 45 shots to 35 for Washington. The Penguins won 46 faceoffs to 39 for the Capitals. The two teams were a combined 0/6 on the power play. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray made 31 of 35 saves. Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 42 of 45 saves.
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Pittsburgh is outscoring teams 4.00-2.33 in the playoffs. The Penguins average 33 shots per game and opponents average 31.5 per game. Pittsburgh is 8/23 (34.8%) on the power play in the playoffs and 21/23 (91.3%) on the penalty kill. The Penguins are #1 on the power play so far in the playoffs. Pittsburgh has one short handed goal and has allowed one as well.
Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury missed the first round with a concussion and is doubtful for game two of this series. Back-ups Matt Murray and Jeff Zatkoff split time in the net for the Penguins. Murray is 3-1 in the playoffs with a 1.92 goals against average. He has made 116 of 124 saves (.935) with one shutout. Zatkoff is 1-1 with a 3.07 GAA. He has made 59/65 saves (.908). Murray will continue to start barring injury.
Center Sidney Crosby has 8 points in the playoffs including 5 assists. He has two power play goals. Evgeni Malkin has 8 points with 5 assists, including 2 power play goals. Phil Kessel has seven points with 3 goals all on the power play. Nick Bonino has 7 points with 6 assists. Kris Letang has 6 points with 5 assists. Patric Hornqvist has five points in the playoffs. Four other players have three points in the playoffs. Right wing Beau Bennett is questionable with a shoulder injury. Left Wing Chris Kunitz is questionable with an ear injury. Left wing Scott Wilson and center Kevin Porter are both out indefinitely.
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Washington is outscoring teams 2.57-1.29 in the playoffs. The Capitals average 31.6 shots per game and opponents average 28.6. Washington is 8/31 (25.8%) on the power play and 25/26 (96.2%) on the penalty kill. The Capitals are #2 in both the power play and penalty kill. Washington hasn’t scored or allowed a short handed goal in the playoffs.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby won an NHL record 48 games in the regular season and is a finalist for the Vezina trophy. He is 5-2 in the playoffs with a 1.12 GAA. He has made 191/199 saves (.960) with 2 shutouts.
Center Nicklas Backstrom has 7 points in the playoffs with 5 assists. T.J. Oshie has 7 points with 3 assists. Defenseman John Carlson has 7 points with 3 goals, including 2 on the power play. Center Marcus Johansson has 6 points with 5 assists. Alex Ovechkin has six points with 3 goals all on the power play.
Pittsburgh is 10-2 in road games, 13-3 against teams with winning records, 20-6 on one day rest, 20-7 against Metropolitan teams and Eastern Conference teams, 10-4 in Saturday games, 35-17 overall, and 0-4 in second round games. The over is 3-0-2 in this series recently and 3-1-1 in Washington between the teams.
Washington is 38-14 against Eastern Conference teams and on one day rest, 37-14 at home, 5-2 against Metropolitan teams, 49-22 overall, and 2-5 against teams with winning records.
Pittsburgh outshot Washington and won more faceoffs in game one. Holtby was the difference though, although Murray didn’t play badly. I think the Penguins steal home ice with a win in a high scoring game and take a split back to Pittsburgh.
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