Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals - 5/1/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Jessica Allison
May 14, 2017

Sure, Washington had a nice advantage in shots again in Game 2, but the Capitals don't have the stars up the middle that Pittsburgh does. We're experienced, skilled, and we know how to play as a team.

"Braden is our backbone", Trotz told NBC Sports. We've got a lot of guys on our roster that we can say that about. We just can't just put it on Braden Holtby. "We got to find some goals in our room right now, and we haven't found enough". Bonino has scored 14 career playoff goals and six of them have been game winners. Columbus (fourth) and Washington (first) were among the league's top five regular season teams in points, and they joined Pittsburgh in the NHL's best division, the Metropolitan.

Philipp Grubauer replaced Holtby for the third period for his first appearance in the playoffs.

For those keeping score at home, his four points in seven games is more than Corey Perry, Milan Lucic and other players you probably picked in your pool. "He brings his best game when the games are most important".

Game 2: Blues at Predators - The Nashville Predators had won five straight games in the playoffs, sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and then winning game one of the second-round series.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - For one glorious period for fans here Saturday night, the Washington Capitals finally looked like the team we expected to see in the postseason. Washington had 35 shot attempts to the Penguins' eight through the first 20 minutes.

The Capitals responded quickly.

The game came to a tie when Evgeny Kuznetsov, 24, scored a clutch goal in the third.

The teams traded power play goals in the middle frame.

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The more honest the Caps are with themselves about the true difficulty of title runs - how almost terrifying they can seem at times and how quickly true crises jump up in your face - the better they can cope with them.

Last year's Vezina Trophy victor, who is a finalist again this year, was criticized for his play early in the first round against the Maple Leafs. Grubauer allowed a goal on the second shot he faced, making it 4-1.

Karlsson's shot from an nearly impossible angle beat Henrik Lundqvist with 4:11 left in the third period, sending the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the opener of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night. Fleury's again been up to the challenge stopping 67 of 71 shots in the first to games of the series, again both Penguins wins and again largely due to their goalie. He made 15 of his 32 saves in the third period, including a flurry of four with 3 minutes left long after he had lost his stick. "That 3rd goal, that's a big moment".

"I saw a little opening there in the short side, and just tried to beat him", he said. "Obviously, I was frustrated that I didn't do that".

For his part, Holtby said it just wasn't his night.

In these playoffs, Holtby has a.911 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average. Saturday night was a frustrating continuation of dominating the Penguins without reaping a reward.

Holtby said he didn't like the Penguins' third goal, scored by Jake Guentzel, who finished a 2-on-1, sniping a shot over his left pad and under his glove.

"He made some big stops for us and kept it tight and we always know he's going to be there", Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. Guentzel, who was in the crease, made a kick save while falling into the net, and Fleury was able to cover the puck just in front of the goal line. Washington outshot Pittsburgh 36-21 but has nothing to show for it.

"They don't look at chances", Trotz said. We try not to change our game.

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