Midway through the (unspeakably horrible) second period, Karl Alzner made a shift change. It wasn’t an ordinary shift change. Alzner jumped Inside The Glass™ with Pierre McGuire, which is never a thing you want to do.
Props. Tonight’s going to be fun.
Photo: Rob Carr
Who is ready for some Game Two action? I may be alone in feeling this, but didn’t Game One feel like it was such a blur? The Caps were able to pull out a 4-3 OT victory on the backs of TJ Oshie and Braden Holtby, after seemingly falling asleep in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Let’s hope for a “60 minute effort” and another big ole W tonight.
The Caps have played the Penguins in 8 playoff series before this one. The Caps have a record of 7-1 in the first game of those series, however the Pens have won 7 out of those 8 series. Statistics show that when you win Game One, you should have around a 68 percent chance at winning the series. Let’s change history and align with statistics, because numbers are cool and fun.
We might have a shakeup in the D-corps tonight. Round Two, Game Two liveblog below.
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)|
Photo: Rob Carr
The Washington Capitals’ power play has operated in the same way for years under a myriad of coaches. It features a 1-3-1 setup. The main weapon is Alex Ovechkin, who scored 19 of his 50 goals on the man-advantage in the regular season. Since 2011, it’s been one of the league’s top five units. Everyone knows what’s coming; they just can’t stop it.
In their first round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Capitals power play was key as the team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, converting on eight of 17 man-advantage opportunities, despite the Capitals often getting outplayed at even strength.
“Our power play is successful because everybody is on the same page, everybody knows what they have to do,” Ovechkin said after Saturday’s morning skate. “If they take me away, Carly’s open or Osh or Willy or Kuzy or Backy. It’s hard to stop. If I have a chance to shoot the puck I will, but I’ll take a guy with me to go to the goal line or something.”
Photo: Rob Carr
Karl Alzner missed Saturday’s morning skate with what the team is calling a “maintenance day.” Alzner missed two days of practice earlier this week but played in Thursday’s game despite being “banged up.” Skating in Alzner’s spot on the second pairing alongside Matt Niskanen was Mike Weber, though Weber stayed out late with the heathly scratches.
Dmitry Orlov looks to be healthy scratch as well following a misplay on Nick Bonino that led to a goal in the second period. Capitals coach Barry Trotz benched Orlov for the second half of the game, save for one short shift in the third period. Orlov has not missed a game all season.
For the last couple months (since I figured out how to create GIFs), I have been posting 140 character or less takes on goals that the Capitals have either scored or given up on the Twitter. I am more than happy to take any requests on a non-goal play that someone has questions about, so feel free to make any requests. For now, let’s use the ability to post longer than 5-second videos to get some more detail in the explanations for the goals of Game One.
Photo: Monumental Sports Network
I know this might sound crazy, but TJ Oshie’s daughter Lyla set the tone for the Washington Capitals ahead of Game One. The Tiny Osh was recorded by her mother kicking the crap out of a Penguins poster, which, according to Dan Steinberg, was left at the family’s doorstep by a neighboring Pens fan.
The clip, which was posted by Lauren Oshie during an Instagram takeover of Ted Leonsis’s Monumental Sports Network, went viral.
Lauren also captured many other precious moments, such as Lyla celebrating her father’s second period breakaway goal at Verizon Center.
Once again, Tom Wilson is being talked about for all the wrong reasons. On Friday afternoon, the NHL fined Wilson $2,403.67, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for kneeing Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary.
Sheary missed a few shifts after the hit but stayed in the game.
Speaking before the fine was levied by the Department of Player Safety, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz admitted Wilson should have avoided the hit, though he described it as “shin-on-shin.”
“We’ll leave it up to the league,” Trotz said. “Whatever they decide, I think we’re fine with it. That’s what their job is. You gotta respect. Player Safety with the NHL has done, I think, a good job.”