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Former Pens make impact in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

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The Stanley Cup Final is littered with Penguins connections on both sides of the ice and they made a huge impact in Game 2 where the Capitals evened the series.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We are now two games into the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals and what a Final it has been to this point. Vegas jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a victory in Game 1 but the Capitals answered back to even the series in Game 2 thanks in part to a ridiculous save by Braden Holtby.

Holtby’s heroics overshadowed another Capitals hero from Game 2, former Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. His second period goal gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead and turned out to be the game winning goal when all was said and done for evening.

Orpik’s goal was his first since February 26, 2016, or 220 games. For some perspective on that, the last time Orpik scored a goal in a regulation NHL hockey game, the Vegas had not even been officially awarded their franchise yet. This was also Orpik’s first playoff goal since the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs when he was still a member of the Penguins.

Overall, Game 2 was a big night for former Penguins on top Orpik’s heroics. Less than eight minutes into the game, James Neal got the party started with an absolute snipe over the shoulder of Holtby to put the Golden Knights up 1-0.

Ryan Reaves also made an impact but not on the score sheet like Orpik and Neal. In the second period after a stoppage in play from Holtby freezing the puck, Reaves met everyone’s favorite trash king Tom Wilson in front of the net. Wilson attempted to cross-check Reaves after the whistle but whiffed and was rewarded with a swift punch to the face from Reaves.

As a result of his actions, Reaves was given a two minute penalty for roughing but I’m not sure anyone cared given the victim.

Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night back in Washington where one team will look to gain the series edge with a victory. We’ll have to wait and see if any former Penguins can continue to make an impact on what has been a thrilling Stanley Cup Final to this point.