The Caps did not play their best in Game Four. Without Tom Wilson and falling victim to their coach’s ignorant whims, the top line sputtered. The Penguins dictated play and certainly won the shot quality battle, which is sort of incidental to the scoreboard battle, which they also won.
The Penguins struck first; Guentzel scoring off a lucky rebound off Niskanen’s body. TJ Oshie scored a remarkable power-play goal assisted by Nick Backstrom, but Evgeni Malkin’s marker survived two kinds of challenges to put Pittsburgh in the lead after forty minutes. Guentzel got the empty-netter.
Penguins beat the Capitals 3-1. The series is tied 2-2.
Joe B doing lacrosse in a suit of the night (Thanks, Susan S.)
Holtby played good with a very tough workload. Lars Eller and Jakub Vrana did some great work. Nick Backstrom’s pass to TJ Oshie was next level. That was all of the good stuff. Everything else was bad, and all of it should be laid at the feet of Barry Trotz, who failed to make an adjustment despite his top-line experiment being an obvious failure after just one period, and Tom Wilson, who took himself out of this series through sheer recklessness.
The Caps come home now. I hope they also come to their senses.
Headline photo: Joe Sargent
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.