Penguins Beat Caps 3-2: Life is Suffering

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The absences of Kris Letang and Olli Maata (and Eric Fehr) gave the Caps a major advantage in Game Four. And then Barry Trotz played Mike Weber instead of Nate Schmidt. You know how this ends. Let’s move onto discussing the game itself, shall we?

This game had a little bit of everything, including a tragic denouement. Jay Beagle got a certified puck luck goal, but Sidney Crosby got his first point (and temper tantrum) in the series. Overall, there wasn’t much suggesting that the Caps were taking advantage of the absences of the Pens’ two best defensemen.

The second period was a vomit fest. Spoiler alert: so was overtime. For a time, the Pens eventually mercifully faltered, and the Justin Williams Postseason Redemption Campaign continued. A fabulous shift by Williams and Andre Burakovsky led to John Carlson’s game-tying goal. As expected, the Caps stepped up their game for the third. A scoreless period resulted in overtime, to the chagrin of early risers everywhere.

Penguins beat the Caps 3-2 in OT. Penguins lead the series 3-1.

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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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Penguins beat Caps 3-2: Nothing Feels Good

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Urine (Photo: Tom Guilitti

Albert Camus portrayed existence as the mythical Sisyphus carrying a stone up a hill only to watch it fall once he reached the top. Sisyphus trudges down and starts over. He drags up the hill again, and again it drops. This story, Camus tells us, is just like life: meaningless, tedious, thoroughly absurd.

Just like Capitals playoff hockey!

Washington sure tried hard. They sorta dominated play in Game Three, but the universe is unconcerned with effort. The Caps lost. The rock rolled down the hill.

Patric Hornqvist got one first, scoring after a failed Caps clear. One minute later it was Tom Kuhnhackle’s turn, getting some lucky bounces to beat Braden Holtby.

The Caps were furious in the second period, but it was Carl Hagelin who struck, making it 3-0 after Nate Schmidt’s misplay in his own end.

In the third, Alex Ovechkin ripped one to the top corner to crack Matt Murray’s shutout. With a minute left, Justin Williams found an open net and scored. The Caps pushed hard in those final minutes, but the rock rolled back down the hill.

Penguins beat Caps 3-2. Penguins lead the series 2-1.

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: Bounce Back

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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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Rock the Red Wedding: Penguins beat Caps 2-1

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That was brutal. The Washington Capitals played badly and poorly against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two. I mean poorly in the sense that they did not perform well. I mean badly in the sense that they did some stuff that wasn’t exactly gallant. And yet, thanks to the singularly stellar performance of a certain Saskatchewanian stud in net, the Caps kept the score close.

The Penguins had little to show for their possession dominance until Nick Bonino won a board battle and set up Carl Hagelin for the opening goal.

In the third, Marcus Johansson, that notorious softy, tied the game with a power play goal earned from the paint. But with five minutes left, former Capital Eric Fehr caught a puck from Evgeni Malkin and tapped home the game-winner.

Pens beat Caps 2-1. The series is tied 1-1.

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Photo: Derek Leung

Eric Fehr and Mike Green both wanted to stay in Washington and win a Stanley Cup — it just didn’t work out that way. They had played their entire 10-year careers with the Caps, save for one year Fehr spent with the Jets. But with restricted free agents like Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Marcus Johansson to lock up, plus the offseason acquisitions of Justin Williams and TJ Oshie, Fehr knew it would be tough to stay.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Will Play the Winner of Caps-Flyers

Gregory Shamus

Photo: Gregory Shamus

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers today in a 6-3 rout on home ice, ending that series decisively in five games.

That means the winner of the Capitals-Flyers series will face the Penguins, the hottest team in the league, in the second round. It’ll either be Sid vs Ovi (again) or the Battle of Pennsylvania (again). Either way, the NHL is feeling pretty good about their playoff format right now.

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Inherent Resolve: Penguins Beat Capitals 4-3 (OT)

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Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

It’s game 80 for the Washington Capitals this season. I cannot think of a more perfect time to go all Adam Oates and force new things down Caps fans’ throats. On our end, RMNB tried out a new in-game live blog, where you got to interact with Chris. But not me. I’m the actual Chris. His name is Chris From The Comments, because he doesn’t have the credentials to blow up the site at will. From the Caps, got some new lines and D-pairs from Barry Trotz, which might be the way the Capitals lineup looks when we start the playoffs. Braden Holtby was in net because you sure as hell know why Braden Holtby was in net. Pens had won 13 of 14. So let’s do this.

Well, on second thought, let’s not. Forty-four seconds into the game, the Capitals’ defense crumbled like a nomination before the Senate — except the Capitals were trying even less.

Early in the second, Matt Cullen scored yet another goal in the first minute of the period, His shorthanded goal seemingly crush the Caps’ hopes. Then the Caps killed a five-minute penalty (Tom Wilson, natch) only to surrender a five-hole goal to Connor Sheary on an odd-man rush soon after. Thank goodness for Marcus Johansson, who finally got the Caps on board late in the period.

In the third, Joe Hanson was money yet again, turning the rest of the third period into a grudge match against the league’s hottest team. Just over three minutes later, another perfect Swedish and adorable and awesome player named Andre Burakovsky CRASHED THE FREAKIN’ NET and tied the game. This is why you watch sports.

What happened later is why you never want to watch sports again. Sidney Crosby in the extra frame. Pens beat Caps 4-3 (OT).

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Game 80 Live Blog: Caps vs Pens

NHL: NOV 17 Wild at Penguins

Photo: Justin Berl

Look above. That’s a picture of a man who should never have been allowed to leave Washington, DC. He faces off against his former team and your Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center tonight with the rest of the flaming-hot Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens come into town after going 9-1 in their last 10 and that’s without superstar Evgeni Malkin since March 11 and now without starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been out with a concussion since the beginning of April. Games between these two teams are always quite the show, and something tells me that even though this is a virtually meaningless game for your Caps, it should be nonetheless entertaining.

Before we get started, did you know that “giant” 5-foot-tall penguins once inhabited the Earth? Carl Hagelin would have had a lot of friends 30 million years ago.

I’m Chris From The Comments. Join me below for the first Live Blog of this year’s Caps season.

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Caps vs Pens Pregame: Milestones and Health

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

It’s game 79 of the regular season for the Caps. They’ve had the standings locked up since about game 7. Yes, it’d be nice to beat the Pens. And of course, it would be encouraging to see a great effort from the guys in red as the playoffs grow nearer. But Jean-Paul Sartre would definitely say “I told you so” when we come to the realization that the existence of this game precedes its essence.

But the great thing about meaningless things is that we’re left free to assign our own meaning. There’s some cool stuff that we can choose to care about to make this game more enjoyable. There’s Braden Holtby‘s pursuit of the single-season record for wins by a goalie and Alex Ovechkin trying to hit the 50 goal mark again. Oh, and TJ Oshie is trying to reach 30 goals for the first time in his career, but all but one of us knew all along that would never happen.

The game is at 7 on CSN. Please, everyone stay healthy.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 55-17-7 51.9% 101.0 22.7% (3rd) 84.5% (4th)
Pittsburgh Penguins 47-25-8 53.2% 100.7 18.8% (16th) 84.0% (6th)

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