The Penguins were looking to close out their second round series with the Washington Capitals in Game 5. The President's Trophy winners had other ideas. The Capitals came on strong, responded well to the Penguins punch-back and went on to win the game. The Capitals won 3-1 and it's headed back to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on Tuesday, with the Penguins looking to advance with a win.
Setting the Scene
Midway through the 2nd period and the game, trailing by 1, the Penguins were looking to even up the scoreboard, after having tied it in the first period.
A simple stretch pass/pseudo-dump in from Justin Williams and the Capitals turned disastrous very quickly, and strongly altered the course of the game. Let's take a look.
(Disclaimer: I'm not here to beat down Brian Dumoulin. That's not my style as a human/fan/writer/etc. I know it can often be perceived that way, but that's not what I'm here for. The kid has been remarkable and an error is just that. Just felt like getting that out there.)
The play starts with a simple wide stretch pass from Justin Williams, looking to hit a streaking Jason Chimera near the point where the half-wall meets the blue line. This feels like a similar type of breakout play that the Rangers used heavily, except a little delayed.
Brian Dumoulin's big mistake coming. He was able to beat Chimera to the 50/50 puck in a foot race, and it went downhill from there. With 3 of 4 possible options that would've been less dangerous, he chose the one that ended very poorly. The pressure from Chimera did not help, because it cut down the angle of plays he was able to make. But you still can't make that attempt at a pass there.
The reverse angle doesn't make it any prettier. Despite the pressure from Chimera, I think Dumoulin could've gotten the puck to Matt Cullen. I don't know, though.
Things were bad enough after the pass, and they somehow got worse afterwards. Trevor Daley and Brian Dumoulin were just not on the same page after the turnover.
Justin Williams had what felt like a decade worth of time and space to push in on the net before shooting, and the two Penguins defenders botched it.
They both wound up on the same side of the net, and even if Williams had opted not to shoot, Chimera was in good position for a rebound or a pass.
I think it's a goal that Matt Murray needs to save, but I understand why he needed to keep the five-hole open longer than usual because of the other option of Chimera and needing to keep the far post covered.
Same, Dumo. Same.
The entire breakdown can be seen below:
So, Tuesday night it is. The Penguins head back home, looking to close it out to the tune of Party Hard. Hold onto your butts.