On the power play in the second, TJ Oshie restored the Caps’ lead with an Oshie shot from the Ovi spot.
You’re not gonna believe this. Not only did the Capitals gain an early lead over the Penguins, but it also happened on the gosh darn power play, thanks to hard work by Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, and TJ Oshie. Wonders never cease, and Russian machines never break.
Photos: Christina C.
Last Sunday, with the Caps-Pens series tied 1-1, four Caps fans — Christina, Caiti, Becca, and Jenny — decided they would make the drive to Pittsburgh for Game Four. “We figured it would be a fun, spontaneous trip and we really wanted to see the game and cheer on the Caps,” Christina explained to me in an email. Instead the Caps did what they do best, losing in gut-wrenching fashion during sudden death overtime.
Beyond getting interviewed by CSN, the friends’ favorite moment happened to be when they first arrived at CONSOL Energy Center.
Tonight at 7:15 PM in Verizon Center, our Washington Capitals will fight for their playoff lives. Backs against the wall, do or die, crap or get off the pot — choose your idiom; they all work.
I don’t have much to say. Talk is cheap, get pucks deep. Scoar moar goals. Crash the net.
The Penguins lead the series 3-1. I don’t want to write about breakdown day on Monday.
|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)|
Photo: Justin K Aller
The Caps have their first must-win game of the season on Saturday night against the Penguins. Down 3-1, the Caps have to win three straight against one of the best teams in the league (granted, the Caps are also in that group) or else their season will be over.
If this series hasn’t driven home the point that the margin for error in the playoffs is razor-thin and sometimes a few bad bounces (like a goal off a player’s back, for crying out loud) can make a world of difference, nothing will. Have the Caps looked dominant? Absolutely not. But have they more than held their own and are down 3-1 in part because hockey can be cruel and unjust? Oh yes.
Ahead of Game Two, one bold Caps fan brought a fluorescent pink sign to Verizon Center. Written haphazardly in marker and in all-caps, the message read “SHUT UP PIERRE.” The fan held this sign near NBC commentator Pierre McGuire during warm-ups. It was a hit online.
And apparently it has started a revolution.
Photo: Drew Hallowell
Looks like Head Coach Barry Trotz is shuffling his line combos heading into Game Five on Saturday. NHL.com’s Katie Brown has the lines from practice this morning:
Caps lines at practice:
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) May 6, 2016
The biggest change is the flip-flopping of centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov’s elevation forms a new top line for Head Coach Barry Trotz with Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie, one that had success early in the season. Other notable changes include the reformation of the Caps’ Tre Kronor line with Backstrom centering Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky, and Justin Williams finding himself on the third line.
Photo: Justin K. Aller
Wednesday night, the Capitals lost Game Four to the Penguins in sudden death overtime. According to the NHL’s PR, the Penguins improved to 8-3 in 11 all-time OT playoff games against the Capitals. The victory gave the Penguins a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Yesterday, we felt depressed. But there is reason to have hope. In fact, I have five reasons why the Caps could come back in this series.
Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Washington Capitals. The four games between the two long-time foes have been brutal. The series has featured big hits, head shots, and taunting between rival fans. But during the morning skate, Braden Holtby cut through all of that nonsense and showed why he’s a great human.
The Caps goaltender, who is likely to win this season’s Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie, gave his stick to Brian Azinheira, a 11-yr old Penguins fan battling cancer.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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