Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two powerhouses battle in Round Two, Game One

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF,

It's time for the Second Round of the 2017 National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs! Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals faceoff for the 10th time in the postseason. In the previous nine, the Penguins have been the winning team in eight of them.

A storyline of two powerhouses and whoever win this series may very likely go on to win the Stanley Cup.

For tonight's game, there are some changes to the Penguins lineup. Chris Kunitz will be returning to the lineup! Good news as Kunitz is great at getting the other team off their game and shaking up goalies, which will be critical for the Penguins.

The Penguins will have to come out with speed and take control of this game earlier unlike the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They need to get in Branden Holtby's face and make him feel uncomfortable in net. Time to show the Capitals what the defending Champions are made of! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Guentzel - Crosby - Hornqvist
Rust - Malkin - Kessel
Wilson - Bonino - Sheary
Kunitz - Cullen - Kuhnhackl

Dumoulin - Hainsey
Maatta - Daley
Cole - Schultz

Fleury in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 3 Caps 2

3rd Period

0:26 - Fleury being hammered with shots and he is coming up big! Wow!

1:38 - The Caps have an empty net.

2:50 - Fleury with some unreal saves as the puck is loose in front. Bodies everywhere as the loose puck is being looked for and finally, the whistle is blown.

4:04 - Schultz with a solid shove to separate a Capital from the puck and breakup a two-on-one.

5:15 - Power play time is over for the Pens. The best chance came at the end for the second unit, but Holtby holds strong. Make no mistake, Holtby has been strong of the Caps.

7:15 - Niskanen will sit for slashing and the Pens head onto the power play. A huge power play opportunity for the Pens.

7:24 - BONINO SCORES! The Pens get the puck up the ice quickly and Wilson gains the line! Wilson slides the puck across to Bonino who finds space between Shattenkirk and Orpik to get in alone! Bonino beats Holtby! 3-2 Pens

9:32 - Pens are playing with fire. They need to get to their game. Someone needs to ignite their passion because the Caps control this game right now.

11:43 - Kuhnhackl is back on the bench.

11:55 - Kuznetsov scores. Niskanen finds Kuznetsov at the side of the net all alone. He puts it in the open net. No chance for Fleury. 2-2 tie game.

12:27 - Kuhnhackl has gone down the runway to the locker room.

13:49 - Malkin not having a great period. He has seemed off since he was hit, not because of a possible injury, just off.

14:33 - There need to be better zone exits by the Pens. They are controlling the puck as they leave their zone instead they are chipping it out. The Caps easily regain control. Not a good strategy.

16:47 - The Caps with the more offensive zone time and Pens look to be on their heels a little bit. Now is the time to turn that around and put the Caps on their heels.

18:18 - Four-on-four hockey play comes to an end.

20:00 - We are back for the third period and things start with 1:42 remaining on the four-on-four! The Pens to capitalize and put the pressure back on the Caps! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds and the Pens hold the 2-1 lead!

0:01 - Fleury with a huge save on Backstrom!

0:18 - Cole finished his check on Johansson into the boards behind the net. A scrum ensues after. Four on four hockey.

1:43 - Ovechkin scores. Ovechkin is able to get time and space at the half circle. He snipes one over the blocker shoulder of Fleury. 2-1 Pens

3:40 - Fleury gets a piece of Johansson's shot.

4:23 - Fleury being tested this period versus the last. Kessel's shot bounces out of the glove of Holtby, but the Caps are able to clear.

6:21 - Shots are 14-12 in favor of the Pens.

9:58 - Crosby is now tied with Mario Lemieux for the most multi-point playoff games in franchise history at 51.

12:44 - The Pens need to keep their foot on the gas, they can't afford to sit back.

15:35 - Crosby with a great defensive play to deny Ovechkin and then he goes down to the other end and gets his own scoring chance.

17:01 - Kessel is off to the races, but Holtby denies him and he also denies Rust on the rebound chance.

18:56 - CROSBY SCORES! Maatta fires a hard shot that is saved by Holtby, but he is unable to control the rebound as Hornqvist gets in front to create havec! Hornqvist gets the puck and finds Crosby alone at the side of the net! Crosby slides the puck into the open net! 2-0 Pens

19:48 - CROSBY SCORES! Caps turnover the puck in the neutral zone and Hornqvist is able to poke the loose puck up into the offensive zone! Guentzel tracks down the loose puck giving the Pens a two-on-one chance! Guentzel puts the puck right into the wheelhouse of Crosby! He beats Holtby glove side! 1-0 Pens

20:00 - Second period time! The Pens need to play smart and put the pressure on Holtby! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and this game is scoreless.

1:32 - Caps showing their firepower as Eller fires a hard shot. Fleury gets a piece of it with his shoulder.

1:58 - Solid shift for the fourth line of the Pens to keep the Caps pinned in their own zone.

4:15 - Fleury comes out to make two strong saves. Oshie looks to have an open net, but Guentzel makes a stretching leg save and Fleury is able to get the loose puck to freeze it. Crazy.

4:43 - Caps crash the net and the puck is loose. It bounces off the back of the net, look like it went into the net (not going to lie), but all is well.

5:59 - Ovechkin receives a pass in the center of the offensive zone, but Cole strips him of the puck.

6:50 - Crosby once again finds Hornqvist, this time in the slot. Hornqvist's shot is stirred wide by the quick stick of Carlson.

9:41 - Only one shot for the Capitals. Much better start for the Pens. It would be great for them to get a goal before the period end as a reward for the solid start.

13:48 - Crosby throws the puck to the net and Hornqvist is able to get a stick on it in front. Holtby with a great save and a scrum ensues in front. Hornqvist doing his job in front.

14:22 - Time expires on the power play for the Pens. Kessel had the best chance at the half circle, but his shot went wide.

16:22 - Pens will get the first power play of the game as Ovechkin will head to the box for interference on Hornqvist.

18:12 - Solid start for both teams.

20:00 - Puck drop! This game is officially underway! The Penguins need to take Game One and it will be a great push off point for them! Lets Go Pens! 

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