The Capitals had waited since their Game 6 overtime loss to the Penguins a year ago for another shot at them, and coach Barry Trotz was among many who said it felt right for these teams to meet again. It was Nicklas Backstrom who then spoke up.
"Braden Holtby has got to be way better", Olczyk said.
The Capitals, even though they were the less rested team, outplayed Pittsburgh in Game 1. I think he has the ability to park things, and he'll park it.
"So, I don't think specifics are important to get out into the media". Pittsburgh just finds ways to execute down the stretch and is an experienced playoff team that knows it has the Capitals on the ropes.
Hagelin admitted he wasn't too happy with his own play Saturday night, but that's perhaps not unexpected in his first game back in a month and a half. His willingness to get in front of shots, in both the offensive and defensive zones, has become his defining characteristic during his three seasons in Pittsburgh.
"No question he's our goaltender", Trotz continued, raising his voice. "We know we're not giving up hope or getting frustrated".
What's even more impressive was how important all four goals were.
Game 2 will be a very pivotal moment in this series. It's not about that. Three-plus minutes later, Crosby went down to block Justin Williams' shot, slid the puck go Guentzel while still on his belly to jumpstart the 2-on-1 and the rookie from Omaha, Nebraska beat Holtby clean to make it 3-1 Pittsburgh.
"It's my swear-to-God moment", he said. The Capitals are averaging 3.2 goals per game and are scoring on 23.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Pittsburgh F Chris Kunitz passed Mario Lemieux for fifth place on the team's all-time postseason games played list with 108. What few chances the Penguins had, they scored on. For the Blues to wrestle control from the Predators, they will need another heroic effort from goalie Jake Allen while the Blues will have to find a way to contain Nashville's P.K. Subban. This effect was seen just last series when the Caps played Toronto.
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"That was the message".
Oh, to have had an ear to the door on that meeting. However, there were certainly calls that could have gone Washington's way that didn't in Game 1 and these things have a way of evening out. When media were allowed in, Orpik, an alternate captain, was critical of his teammates. "We've been talking about that for a couple of weeks", Sullivan said.
That was at least in part a reference to a golf outing by some players earlier in the trip. In the past nine series, the Pens have won eight of those.
It is almost do-or-die time for the Capitals, as they try to earn their first win of the series. Pageau is the first Senator ever with four goals in a playoff game.
WASHINGTON-Beside skating, passing and checking, the Washington Capitals are well-versed in another fundamental: postgame cliches.
"We just got a little impatient", Orpik said.
Washington no longer has the luxury of time. At the end of the season, five will be unrestricted free agents and six will be restricted free agents.
That's a level the Washington Capitals, in the era of Alex Ovechkin, have never had in postseason hockey.
The teams' second lines also matched up pretty regularly. A flick of Guentzel's wrists and it was in the back of the net to complete Guentzel's first National Hockey League hat trick and give the defending Stanley Cup champions a hammerlock on a series they would win in five games. "I think that's great". "That's ownership...when your leaders are in the room talking about stuff, because that's galvanizing and that's a huge step for us".