Sports

Braden Holtby gets shot to help Capitals out of 2-0 deficit

Braden Holtby gets shot to help Capitals out of 2-0 deficit

"I just think a lot of guys are playing better than they did past year".

The Penguins got goals from Phil Kessel (2), Jake Guentzel (2), Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cullen to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Capitals heading to Pittsburgh for Monday's Game 3.

Matt Cullen struck first, one minute and fifteen seconds into the second period. Unfortunately, no chaos ensued as no one touched the puck in the final moments.

The Capitals, after a slow start in Game 1, dominated the scoreless first period, building a 16-5 lead in shots on goal. "They're special athletes, both those guys, and they look for those big moments and they capitalize on those big moments". "That was the toughest game of the season for us and they fought so hard and had so many chances, but we found a way to get it done".

"Sometimes depending on the situations it's nearly the road team that dictates how the game is played because just the guys they put on the ice in certain faceoffs, and then the other team has to respond to that", Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. "But certainly moving forward, I think we have to do a better job of not relying on it as much as we have to this point".

After his OT score, Pageau slid into the end boards, skated to the left corner and was swarmed by teammates. Evgeny Kuznetsov evened the game at 2-2 in the third and Nick Bonino got the game-winner with 8 minutes to play. "And I just didn't".

Sullivan also couldn't say enough after the game about Crosby, calling him the best "200-foot-player in the game". "He'll tell you he could be better...and he will be".

Toronto coach Mike Babcock remarked that there's nothing like making opposing fans sit on their hands and watch the game nervously with long faces.

Washington seems incapable of changing the mojo.

Not to mention, the power-play has not looked the strongest it can be.

Holtby allowed three goals on 14 shots on Saturday night, and in the two games this series, Holtby has now allowed six goals on 35 shots.

"Yeah, obviously, it's never where you want to be", Holtby said.

"In the playoffs, a home game, the crowd, there's energy and there's momentum to take from that, but the road team can play with that, too", Capitals right winger Tom Wilson said.

The Capitals' captain has accomplished nearly everything imaginable in a dozen pro seasons: three Hart Trophies as MVP, 558 regular-season goals and virtually every important franchise scoring record.

But the obvious note from the Senators' first matchup with the Rangers is that this series could very well be the second round's top goalie duel.

Injuries aside, this Penguins team plays with a hunger to win. They can't get the puck out of their zone. "That's where your goalie needs to come up with a save", Holtby said.

Anderson wasn't tested almost as much at the other end, but was forced to hang tough when McDonagh walked past a row of Senators during a NY power play and made an attempt on goal that went wide. But he's by far not the only problem for the Capitals, who've had some ill-timed turnovers and mistakes that have led to odd-man rushes. "When we get high-quality opportunities, that's when we believe our quick-strike capability is at its best".


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