NHL Playoffs: Defending Champion Penguins Pushed to Brink of Elimination

Share
NHL Playoffs: Defending Champion Penguins Pushed to Brink of Elimination

Two of the scores were empty-netters, yes, but the defending champions have now squandered two third-period leads in the span of four games.

For the Capitals and their fans, there would be nothing sweeter than to finally get past the Penguins in the post-season, and to do it with a game to spare in the series.

Especially when overtime is involved.

Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov was flapping his wings after he scored the Game 6 overtime victor to eliminate the Penguins and lift Washington to the Eastern Conference final for just the third time in franchise history and first since 1998. They took advantage in game six winning 6-3. This is one of those situations again, and the Penguins still have a championship-caliber squad led by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel. Everyone did what they could.

The Caps have been notorious for being unable to get over the proverbial playoff hump.

Matt Murray (25.8 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for Pittsburgh.

"We're going to have to play much better", Capitals head coach Barry Trotz says. They may have to do it without star center Nicklas Backstrom, who left in the third period with an upper-body injury that Trotz said the team will have more information on Sunday. I didn't see them give in before. They have taken out the Caps in each of their last two years and have parlayed that into winning back-to-back titles, but this year it has a different feel to it. Patric Hörnqvist, Brian Dumoulin and Olli Määttä couldn't convert from the scoring area in the third, with the last two of those especially gutting to the Penguins. "Not any one single person can replace him; it takes a group effort and we knew that". They capitalized on the chances they got.

For the Capitals, and for D.C. sports fans, this isn't just a regular second round win, but the lifting of a regional curse. Vrana looked as though he was right at home with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. We'll enjoy it tonight.

Trotz says he expects Backstrom to play in Game 6, and adds, "we'll see where is [Monday]". They did that all series long. Ovechkin has 101 points via 57 goals and 44 assists, and has recorded multiple points 30 times.

The Capitals captain feathered a backhand pass up the middle of the ice to spring Kuznetsov for a breakaway he finished with a shot between Murray's pads.

"Obviously Holts right now playing unbelievable", Ovechkin said.

The bigger problem for the Penguins was a failure to create offense against a Capitals team dead set on clogging up the middle of the ice. Letang ripped a low slap shot past Holtby from near the blue line.

With Backstrom unable to play the final 13 minutes, Lars Eller double-shifted and Vrana looked like a ideal fit with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. If they were running out of gas after all the high-level hockey they've played, we could certainly accept it and move on to 2018-19.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

May hails 'success' as Labour fails to make election breakthrough
Across 16 wards, 16 seats were up for grabs: 10 have gone to Conservative , 3 to Lib Dems, 3 to independent parties. Brexit was clearly not the only factor at play in these elections, however it has left divides across the country.

4 questions that lawyers for Stormy Daniels and Trump are fighting over
Giuliani said he's trying to convince Trump of the risks of testifying for Mueller. "But I would think if it was necessary, yes". In the last few days, Trump has acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for the United States dollars 130,000 he paid to Daniels.

Nasa Spacecraft Could Be First To Witness Marsquakes
In addition to marsquakes , Insight's SEIS instrument will listen for the seismic reverberations triggered by meteorite impacts. In some cases, sending a smaller satellite first will help lower the risk for larger missions to follow.

Kentucky Derby: How to Watch
Plus, his sire, Medaglia d'Oro, has a 17 percent win rate in the mud among his progeny and his broodmare sire, A.P. Always Dreaming and jockey John Velazquez celebrate winning Kentucky Derby 143 at Churchill Downs , 5/6/17.

Jazz Hold Off Rockets To Even Series At 1-1
That's great and all... but Houston does this thing where all they do is shoot threes and it works really, I'm mean really, well. Eric Gordon had 15 points off the Rockets' bench, but he shot just 5-of-16 and none of their other reserves did much.

UN Chief Warns Trump Not To Ditch Iran Nuclear Deal
TNT". "The show that was given by Netanyahu was another attempt by him to present something which is absolutely wrong", he said. The Israeli PM has a long history of fearmongering when it comes to Iran, that too without providing any credible evidence.

Philadelphia keeps playoff run alive with huge Game 4 win over Celtics
The Eastern Conference semifinals continue as a pair of Atlantic Division rivals take the hardwood in the City of Brotherly Love. The Celtics will have home court advantage against their likely Eastern Conference Finals opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers .

Never a boring moment between the Capitals & Penguins
The hit occurred in Game 3 of the team's second-round playoff series on Tuesday. "So I've got to be a little smarter than that". While the Lightning's win on home ice in Game 2 was expected, they were dominant on the road in their 4-1 win in Game 3.

LeBron James scores 43 as Cavaliers beat Raptors in Game 2
The Celtics overcame that early deficit to win, 108-103, and go up 2-0 on the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they also shot the lights out themselves, hitting 59% from the field and making 42% of their three-point attempts.

Toronto Raptors: 6 Revelations from Game 3 loss to Cavaliers
Valanciunas has dominated the paint thus fair and his play in Game 3 will be a deciding factor in any potential Raptors victory. Toronto ranks sixth in assists per game (24.2) while Cleveland ranks 28th in assists allowed per game (25.5).

© 2015 Stocks News Daily. All Rights reserved.