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02 May 2018, 01:18 | Kristopher Drake
But unlike in Games 1 and 2 of the first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and also in Game 1 of this series against Pittsburgh, the Capitals were able to build on that lead and hold on for the win. Captain Sidney Crosby was dominant in the first round of the playoffs, a six-game series over the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring an incredible six goals and totaling 15 points.
Also to be noted, Evgeni Malkin participated in his second full-fledged practice in three days, making it all but certain he'll see the ice for Tuesday's Game 3 at PPG Paints Arena. Let's take a look at three takeaways from Sunday's Game 2. 17 seconds into the first period, Ovechkin connected with Evgeny Kuznetzov on a two-on-one to put the Caps up to an early lead, and Holtby helped shut the door on the Penguins through the next forty minutes with some incredible saves. Nicklas Backstrom scored an empty-netter to seal it with 6.1 seconds left, shortly after T.J. Oshie appeared to be injured. Despite that and the fact that Wilson has taken up a top-line role with the Capitals this season, it is undeniable that he is widely perceived outside of the Washington fanbase as little more than a goon. I feel the first period, we were chasing the game a little bit. So a bad start isn't the worst thing in the world. The Penguins have gone 31-13 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.61 gpg and have allowed 2.70 gpg in those games.
For Washington, the next two matchups are among the toughest of their 2017-18 campaign. Holtby had stopped the puck with his pad, but it was unclear whether it had managed to cross the goal line anyway. If they chip in and chip in consistently, that team has a chance to win.
Tom Wilson will not have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety, reports Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, meaning he will not be suspended for his hit to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin in Game 2. One wonders if, had the Penguins lost Game 1, Malkin would've been pressed into action Sunday. "Like I said before, the experienced team is not going to give up and give easy plays for us". Kris Letang scored Pittsburgh's only goal on a floater from the point in the second period. "They look at it".
It makes you wonder: Have the Capitals exposed a weakness in Murray, the only goalie in National Hockey League history to back-stop his team to two Stanley Cup championships as a rookie, the 23-year-old (he turns 24 next month) who's trying to lead his team to a third straight championship, the soft-spoken guy who's already posted two shutouts in these playoffs?
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The call on the ice was upheld and the Capitals had their two-goal lead.
He'll need to keep playing at this level if the Capitals want to beat the Penguins.
The play eventually went to video review, but even most of the angles shown on replay didn't provide a conclusive answer to whether the puck crossed the line.
"It's huge, a big difference being 2-0 or 1-1", Rinne said, per Stats/AP (h/t CBS Sports).
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