Photo: Justin K. Aller
When two teams are as evenly matched as the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, every detail is crucial. From lucky bounces to drawing penalties, the little things can be game-changing. And then there’s the matter of goaltending.
Last series, Michal Neuvirth was handed the reins after Steve Mason put up three consecutive disappointing performances for the Flyers. As Neuvy made endless jaw-dropping stops, many of you wondered if the Caps were doomed, Halak-style. Alas, the superior team prevailed, and the Flyers were knocked out in Game Six.
Unlike the Flyers, the Pens are not a team the Caps can hold to 11 shots on goal in a single game. They’ll be facing some very talented players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, among others. And instead of attempting to wear down Mason on Neuvirth, the Caps will do battle against rising star Matt Murray. Murray, a rookie, played the entirety of the Penguins-Rangers series in place of starter Marc-Andre Fleury, who is still suffering from concussion symptoms.