The Washington Capitals outshot the Pittsburgh Penguins 35-21 in Game One of their much hyped second round series. Washington more than doubled up the Pens in shot attempts, 83 to 41. The Penguins blocked 29 of those attempts, however. Washington got in front of just eight Pittsburgh shots.
The Capitals, by the metrics, should have won this game. They nearly scored on Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury a myriad of times in the closing minutes. But that’s hockey: six ounces of hardened rubber that can go anywhere on the 200-foot-long ice surface.
In hockey, the best team doesn’t always win. And the Caps knew that when they met the media just minutes after their final push came up short.
“Shit happens,” Alex Ovechkin told reporters. “We just have to fight through it and put the puck in.”
“We play the played the way we wanted to play,” Ovechkin said earlier in the scrum, referring to the Caps push after going down 2-0 early in the second period. It was ruined by Nick Bonino’s game-winning goal with less than eight minutes left in regulation.
“We tied the game,” said Ovechkin. “We make one mistake and it’s back in the net.”
Matt Niskanen was a little more displeased.
Asked about the Capitals play, Niskanen was terse and clearly frustrated.
“Played a pretty good game,” he said dejectedly. “Played pretty good.”
After a long pause, he was asked about the game’s officiating, which Caps players and fans took exception to.
“No comment,” Niskanen muttered.
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