Monday, May 2, 2016

Time to tip the scales!

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in the Steel City to battle the Washington Capitals and take the lead in this 1-1 tied series in Round Two of the 2016 National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins will be without Olli Maatta who was hit high (head area) last game by Brooks Orpik. The NHL handed down a three game suspension to Orpik for the hit. It looks like Derrick Pouliot will replace the injured Maatta. Also on the injury front, Marc-Andre Fleury will return to the lineup. He will serve as the backup to Murray. Fleury is returning from having a concussion.

The team has been getting contributions from all four lines and it has propelled then into a new level. Their hasn't been one guy carrying the whole team, offensively. This will help them out in the long run. Nick Bonino is riding a four-game point streak (one goal and four assists). Evgeni Malkin has been on fire. He leads the team with nine points (three goals and six assists) during the postseason.

For defense, Kris Letang is a beast this playoff run. He is everywhere on the ice, back checking, jumping into plays, getting on the scoreboard, and making plays. Letang has been a solid player on defense and has elevated his play. Also, Matt Murray has been unreal between the pipes. Murray has won 11 of the last 12 decisions. He has been calm and held down the fort.

On a side note, Pascal Dupuis has been named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy. A well deserved honored for such a great hockey play and human being.

Back to the main event! The Penguins will have to come out with speed, play smart, protect their own end, get pucks on net, pressure, and get physical. This game could tip the scales in favor of the Penguins, if they get the win. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Sheary - Crosby - Hornqvist
Kunitz - Malkin - Fehr
Hagelin - Bonino - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Cullen - Rust

Dumoulin - Letang
Pouliot - Daley
Cole - Lovejoy

Murray in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 3 Capitals 2

3rd Period

0:11 - Pens ice the puck again. They need to win the face-off or stop icing the puck!

0:30 - Another icing by the Pens.

0:55 - Williams scores. Ovechkin fires a shot that is saved by Murray, but Williams picks up the rebound to put it in the open net. 3-2 Pens

1:06 - Caps all over the Pens zone right now. Murray with big saves. Pens collapse around Murray. Timeout for the Caps.

2:09 - Empty net for the Caps.

4:41 - Good kill for the Pens as Hagelin is released. Murray is unreal in net for the Pens.

6:41 - Huge penalty kill right now for the Pens as Hagelin sits for hooking.

7:35 - Murray stands strong on the post as the Caps crash the net.

9:56 - Caps are putting a lot of shots on net and getting offensive zone time. The Pens need to put their foot back on the gas pedal. They only have 18 shots in this game.

11:58 - Ovechkin scores. Ovechkin fires a quick shot from the boards that goes in up high. 3-1 Pens

12:21 - Kunitz gets in behind the defense and passes over to Daley. Daley tries to get the puck to Malkin who would have an open net, but the play is broken up.

15:23 - Murray makes a solid save with traffic in front. He holds for a face-off.

18:18 - Dumoulin is hit hard into the boards by Ovechkin. He sits in the runway with the trainer and a towel over his nose/face. Dumoulin is back on the bench.

19:07 - Rust not on the bench for this period either. Murray with a wave of the glove to stop a hard shot from the point by Carlson.

20:00 - Time for the third period! The Pens have to keep up the pressure, box out the Caps to keep Murray's vision clear, and finish this one! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and the Pens have extended their lead 3-0 over the Caps!

0:13 - Sheary makes a drop pass to Crosby who does the same to Letang. Letang skates into the open slot area and rings one off the post!

2:34 - Caps still out-shooting the Pens, but Murray is locked in.

4:55 - HAGELIN SCORES! Bonino sits in front and waits out Holtby! He puts the puck around the legs of Holtby in the blue paint! Hagelin pushes on Schmidt in front to get a stick on the puck and put it in! 3-0 Pens

5:49 - Kunitz with a drive that is gloved up by Holtby. The Pens are spending way too much time in their own zone. They need to push back and give Murray a break.

7:46 - Murray has been great in the net. Letang lays a huge hit on Ovechkin!

11:30 - Power play for the Pens comes to an end. The first unit didn't get much going. Sheary did some nice work on the second unit.

13:30 - Power play chance for the Pens as Williams takes a seat for tripping.

14:11 - Murray makes a save with his mask on a shot by Johansson.

15:40 - Lovejoy's stick is tangled up, so he kicks the puck to Kessel who spins around to backhand a shot. It just goes wide of the net.

18:47 - Pens kill off the short Caps power play.

19:33 - Rust still not back since blocking a shot in the first. Johansson is back for Caps.

19:50 - Short power play for the Caps.

19:59 - 4 on 4 hockey for nine seconds.

20:00 - The second period is underway! The Pens have to pressure, get traffic in front, and keep the Caps pinned in their zone! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period comes to an end and the Pens lead the Caps 2-0!

0:37 - Kessel heads to the box for slashing. 4 on 4 hockey for 46 seconds.

1:51 - Now the Pens will head onto the power play as Winnik is called for a slash on Letang.

2:19 - Another successful penalty kill for the Pens. Murray with another point blank shot save!

2:54 - Caps ring one off the goal post.

4:19 - Letang comes across with a slightly late hit on Johansson. He gets a two-minute minor penalty for interference. Caps to the power play. Letang may regret that hit later...League will review most likely. Johansson heads to the locker room under his own power.

5:01 - Oshie and Ovechkin have a 2-on-1 chance develop. Murray denies Ovechkin who blasts a hard shot. Defense follows up to get the rebound clear from the front. Murray is on it.

5:48 - Sheary with some great moves to keep the puck in the zone and get the puck to Crosby. Nice offensive zone pressure by the first line.

7:52 - Successful penalty kill for the Pens as Pouliot is released. Murray with a huge save through traffic. Solid play by the penalty killers.

9:25 - Williams is set free and the Caps have a power play for 1:32.

9:52 - Caps get a shorthanded 2-on-1 chance and Pouliot ends up with a hooking penalty. 4 on 4 hockey for 20 seconds.

11:25 - The first power play of the game will go to the Pens as Williams takes a seat for interference.

12:23 - KUHNHACKL SCORES! Letang makes a lead pass up to Cullen! Backstrom reads the play wrong and it gives Cullen and Kuhnhackl a 2-on-1 chance! Cullen makes a dish pass over and it bounces off the back of Kuhnhackl into the open net! 2-0 Pens

12:35 - Murray makes another solid save on a shot by Oshie.

13:23 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Letang starts the play up the ice with a solid zone exit pass! Daley fires from the blue line! Hornqvist gets a piece to put it past Holtby! 1-0 Pens

14:26 - Pens are not getting much offensive zone time right now. Look for them to start surging soon.

16:21 - The Caps have come out flying to start this game. They are controlling the puck at this moment. Murray bailing out the Pens. Also good blocking by the Pens.

17:57 - Oshie gets around Dumoulin and cuts across the goal mouth, but Murray robs with with a glove save!

18:41 - Rust blocks a shot with the outside of his leg and hobbled to the bench. He headed down the runway.

20:00 - Time to do this! The Pens are back in Pittsburgh! They need to come out with speed, play smart, and put on the pressure! Lets Go Pens! 

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