Caps at Penguins Pregame: Flip Two Coins

spirit-of-09

The spirit of ’09 (Photo: Bruce Bennett)

The Washington Capitals enjoyed their last elimination game, a 3-1 win on home ice, but there’s no time for congratulations. To keep their season alive, the Caps must now win on enemy territory against a very good opponent. It won’t be easy, but this is the freaking Capitals in May. It has never been easy.

Puck drops at 8 PM in Pittsburgh. Game’s on NBC Sports. I’m told the Chris From the Comments Liveblog will be back as well.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps vs Penguins Pregame: The Raggedy Edge

Alex Smile

Tonight at 7:15 PM in Verizon Center, our Washington Capitals will fight for their playoff lives. Backs against the wall, do or die, crap or get off the pot — choose your idiom; they all work.

I don’t have much to say. Talk is cheap, get pucks deep. Scoar moar goals. Crash the net.

The Penguins lead the series 3-1. I don’t want to write about breakdown day on Monday.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: Schmidtuation Critical

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Welcome to Game Four. Let’s Do. This. It’s on. It’s so on.

The Caps need this game and, if they play much like they did on Monday night, they have a good chance of evening up the series. Just to make the challenge a little more difficult, Barry Trotz appears to have made a lineup decision that makes his team worse. More on that below.

8 PM start, unfortunately. NBCSN, even more unfortunately.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: Bounce Back

lightning-in-pittsburgh

Photo: Dave DiCello

Tonight, the curtain drops in Pittsburgh for Game Three. The series is tied at 1-1, and it’s evident that the Capitals must play the hockey. After getting dominated by the Pens in Game Two, the Caps hope to bounce back in essentially every aspect of their play. (Except for you, Braden Holtby. We heart you forever.)

Puck drop is at 8 PM from Consol Energy Center, whose namesake’s stock is finally trading up. NBCSN with da coverage.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps vs Penguins Pregame: Parallax

prom-kind-andre-burakovsky

Prom king Andre Burakovsky celebrates

Game One between the Penguins and Capitals was tense and physical. It took solid goaltending (a .933 from Braden Holtby) and TJ Oshie’s hat trick to get the win. The Caps cannot depend on that again tonight, so let’s look for some production from Alex Ovechkin and a better game from the second line.

Capitals lead the series 1-0.

Puck drops at Verizon Center at 8 PM. Game’s on NBC Sports, Emrick announcing. I’ve got recap duties here.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps vs Penguins Pregame: Sid vs Ovi

hunt

Six years later, the NHL’s two biggest stars will once again face off.

According to reports, their teams might also play.

Sid vs Ovi is a headline, not a story. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a talented offensive team riding a white-hot season finish under a new coach. The Washington Capitals are the league’s most successful team, armed with balanced attack and a top-tier backstop.

The Caps-Pens series of 2009 was one of the most exciting I’ve ever seen. In that battle of Sid vs Ovi, the winner was probably Malkin. Shrug. Maybe this series will be determined by star power, but that’s generally not the way this team sport works.

Now that I’ve spent this intro de-hyping tonight’s game, let’s actually get into it. Puck drop on NBCSN at 8 PM. It’s on.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Pittsburgh Penguins 48-26-8 53.0% 100.6 18.4% (16th) 84.4 % (5th)

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: Always Be Closing

always-be-closing

You know the deal. The Caps failed to finish the Flyers in games four and five. Now, on their home turf, the Flyers have a chance to tie the series and force a game seven.

We’d rather not see that happen. We’ve got reservations at Olive Garden on Wednesday.

Puck drops at noon on NBC proper.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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Caps vs Flyers Pregame: Take Two

Washington Capitals' Brooks Orpik (44) is helped off the ice after an injury during the second period of Game 3 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, Monday, April 18, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Photo: Matt Slocum

The Caps return to Washington tonight in hopes of finally closing out this series. After failing to eliminate the Flyers in Game Four, the Caps have one mission: end it. End it now.

I’m not particularly picky about how the Caps win; I’d just like to see them lock this series up already. Alas, it would be nice to see some of that mythical even-strength scoring, the kind that’s been nearly nonexistent for the past four games.

Will they or won’t they? Tune into CSN-DC at 7 PM to find out.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: Finish Him

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: Len Redkoles

The photo above is from a Caps-Flyers game in December 2009. It was Peter Laviolette’s first game as head coach of the Flyers. With the score tied in the first period, Philadelphia’s Dan Carcillo suckerpunched Washington’s Matt Bradley. Bradley was hurt, but the Capitals responded as they thought best.

They won 8-2.

I think of that game a lot. I think of how the team was done wrong and they found justice in the form of goals. Tons of goals.

RMNB started publishing the next week.

I’m done with thrown bracelets. I’m done with unruly fans. I’m done with penalty minutes you measure in hours. Done with late hits, working the refs, and ghost bears.

I’m done with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tonight the Capitals will join me in this notion. With a win, the Caps can secure their first ever four-game sweep and advance to the next round.

Puck drop at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: Glass Case of Emotion

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Photo: Patrick Smith

After winning both home games, the Caps are in Philadelphia tonight to see if they can’t put the Flyers in a stranglehold. It won’t be easy. The Flyers are mightily pissed about games one and two, and they’ve got sentimental reasons not to play like garbage tonight.

The saying goes, “you’re not in trouble until you lose at home.” Here’s rooting for trouble tonight at Wells Fargo center in what is sure to be an emotionally charged game.

Caps lead the series 2-0. Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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