Big blow to the Penguins early, it looked like Evgeni Malkin would play but about an hour before game time we learned that he would sit his second game out in a row. Same lines for the Pens.
Just as Alex Ovechkin scored 1 minute into Game 1, he scores less than 2 minutes into Game 2 on also his first shift of the game.
Pittsburgh gets a power play but can’t score. The Capitals get their first chance and the Pens almost kill it, but almost doesn’t count. 2-0.
Seconds before the goal Brett Connolly hit the pad of Matt Murray for no reason, and even though Murray couldn’t push off to his left maybe in part because of it...the refs didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Who knows what goalie interference is anyways.
Murray gave up some goals but kept on battling, using his stick to keep this Ovechkin shot out from really breaking the game open early in the first.
Murr with the paddle moves.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 29, 2018
Tanger with the lacrosse moves. pic.twitter.com/8zQfgc0w2T
Period over. Shots 20-10 Caps. Definitely not ideal to give up 20 shots in a period, Pens are lucky to escape down 2-0 with a couple of good saves made by Murray to at least keep it somewhat close.
Early in, Dominik Simon turns it over to Lars Eller and whoops. Eller feeds Brett Connolly who is all alone and makes no mistakes to make it 3-0 early in.
Worse than losing, trash boy Tom Wilson goes shoulder to the head of Brian Dumoulin, knocking him out of the game with an apparent head injury.
The Tom Wilson check to the head that sent Dumoulin to the room pic.twitter.com/cbRVMLBURo— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 29, 2018
After the game coach Mike Sullivan had this exchange wit the media
Coach Sullivan on if he has an opinion on the Wilson hit on Dumoulin: "Yes."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 29, 2018
Media: "Will you share it?"
I’ll share - garbage hit from a garbage ass player and the league will be better when head-hunters like Wilson (who leads the league in boarding major since he has been in the league) are out of it. Hopefully Dumo is OK. Until then, just more collateral damage on the hands of the NHL who didn’t even call a penalty on the play.
Not the first time Wilson and Ovechkin ran the old pick play with contact to a head of an opponent.
Ovechkin and Tom Wilson teamed up for the same kind of dirty hit two weeks ago in Round One against the Blue Jackets as they pulled of against Brian Dumoulin today. pic.twitter.com/Okl3xE7QSo— Nick (@PensNation_Nick) April 29, 2018
Finally the Pens beat Braden Holtby, Kris Letang floats a shot in, good traffic in front Jake Guentzel tries to tip it but can’t and either way puck ends up in the net. 3-1.
The Pens keep pushing. Sidney Crosby wraps the puck around the net and Patric Hornqvist knocks it just over the line.....But NHL says no goal lol Pens get all the calls
A closer look.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 29, 2018
10:57 left and the Penguins trail 3-1. pic.twitter.com/FKgotwGGVN
Crosby on the angles: "I don't know the angles that they had. But the one I saw it had to be a goal." -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) April 29, 2018
Coulda shoulda but a bad break. Such is life sometimes.
Pens don’t do anything further, which is one them. Momentum could have swung but it didn’t. Nicklas Backstrom gets an empty netter to seal the deal at 4-1 in a game closer than the score with shots 33-32.
- After Malkin practiced yesterday and by all accounts looked good and took drills with first power play, you have to wonder if that took wind out of the sails to not have him today.
- Holtby was good today. Kept some pucks out. Disguised some pucks in too. Pens didn’t get a lot of clean chances on him but almost had several goals. If playoffs 2016 and 2017 have taught us anything, just keep swimming. The goals will happen. Maybe even the refs will realize it!
- The loss of Dumoulin hurt a lot but down to 5 dmen for most of the game I thought the Pens defense did well to cover up. Jamie Oleksiak jumped up to 20+ minutes for the first time in the playoffs, and didn’t look out of place. Justin Schultz played more than Letang.
- 0/3 power play without Malkin today and it didn’t even really look good at any point. Pens need that extra skill on the top unit to make it tick. Hopefully it’s back on Tuesday.
- Letang led the Pens in shot attempts with 8. Olli Maata and Oleksiak had 7. Caps seem to collapse, leaving space for the point men to shoot. Gotta keep getting pucks to net this time of year.
- Figure out what to do with linemates who can help Phil Kessel and you figure out the series. Carl Hagein remains injured. No center or anyone else looks like they’re working with Phil so good right now. Conor Sheary are you out there?
Big picture, you split a series on the road and you’re in good shape. So the Pens technically should be in good shape. The status of Malkin, Dumoulin and Hagelin loom large though for Game 3 and beyond.