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Pens Points: Banged Up but Back in Action

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Pens open second round against Capitals in Washington. Full second round schedule released. No Malkin or Hagelin for at least Game 1, though Malkin did travel to D.C. Tom Wilson takes shot at Pittsburgh before series begins. Familiar matchup but different circumstances highlight the series. Penguins top local television ratings across the league.

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the first round officially in the books the NHL is wasting no time getting started on the second round with game beginning tonight. This means the Penguins are back in action where they will face the rival Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their second round series. This will be the third straight season the Pens and Caps have met in the playoffs and the 11th time overall. [Pensburgh]

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on NBCSN.

Prepare for tonight’s game with today’s Pens Points

Now that the first round is officially over, the NHL released the complete second round schedule for Pens/Caps. After tonight’s Game 1 it will be two days off before Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Before the Pens even traveled to D.C. for tonight’s game they were dealt a blow with the news that both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin will be sidelined for at least Game 1 of the series against the Capitals. Mike Sullivan did reveal though that Malkin will travel with the team while Hagelin will remain in Pittsburgh. [Pensburgh]

During a post practice interview on Wednesday, Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson threw some shade at the city of Pittsburgh claiming it would be the last place he would want to live if he had the choice. [Trib Live]

When you do what the Penguins have done to the Capitals in the playoffs over the last few decades there is bound to be some lasting damage. While the faces change the results have remained the same and don’t think that won’t be weighing on the minds of every player wearing red and blue when the puck drops. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

This series will mark the 11th time the teams have met in the playoffs since 1991. In those past ten meetings, there have been plenty of high moments for the Penguins which means there have been plenty of lows for the Capitals. Some of those lows sting and linger for years afterward. [ESPN]

With lower than normal expectations heading into the playoffs this season, is it possible that the Capitals may actually be overachieving for once? [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

For as much that remains the same there is still so much different for both the Pens and Capitals as they prepare to meet for the third straight spring. [Toronto Star]

It is not a secret the city of Pittsburgh loves its hockey team and the local television ratings proved how true that was as the Penguins led the league in local viewership for the 2017-2018 season. [Penguins]

Never a bad thing when you can add young depth to your system and general manager Jim Rutherford did just with the signing of 2017 5th round pick Linus Olund to a three year entry level contract that begins next season. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL

You may have noticed a rash of suspensions in the opening round stemming from illegal hits to the head. The unexpected uptick in discipline handed down even drew a response from the NHL who tried to explain their reasoning. [ESPN]

The hottest ticket in Las Vegas right now isn’t for a Jennifer Lopez concert or a showing of Blue Man Group. Nope, it’s the Vegas Golden Knights who are the talk of town as they prepare to host the San Jose Sharks in their second round series. [USA Today]

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will play the only Game 7 of an otherwise lackluster first round of the NHL playoffs. A lack of upsets and two quick sweeps took the drama out of what is typically a really exciting time for NHL fans. [National Post]

Following the conclusion of Game 7 between the Maple Leafs and Bruins, the NHL released the full schedules for all four second round matchups. [SBNation]

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scores

Boston Bruins 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (Boston wins 4-3)