Capitals replace Holtby in goal for 3rd period of Game 2

The Senators have a 2-0 series lead for just the second time in franchise history, and first since the 2007 Eastern Conference final against Buffalo.

Game 2 of the second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins offered Ovechkin (and his Washington Capitals) a chance at redemption. The large contingent of Penguins fans who made the trip to Verizon Center celebrated the victory on the steps of Washington's National Portrait Gallery, and they also used the opportunity to brutally troll their Metropolitan Division rivals via a clever banner.

There's no answer for Washington at this point - not even pulling their star goalie, Braden Holtby, at the start of the third period, down 3-1. The Penguins got on the board first with a short-handed goal from Cullen, but the game was quickly tied up by Washington's Matt Niskanen. "I think that's the best way of getting some shifts underneath you when it comes to playing hard in intense playoff hockey". It wasn't flawless by any stretch.

"I have a lot of confidence in him", Trotz said.

For example, Sidney Crosby, who did significant damage against the Capitals in Game 1, had too much space and freedom against the Capitals, and he made them pay.

Holtby, who is 7-4 with a 2.62 goals-against average and.911 save percentage in eight games in these playoffs after putting up far better numbers in previous postseasons, took the blame for not making a save on the Penguins' third goal in Game 2.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots over the first two periods.

That's as big a game as Washington will face as just 18 of the previous 87 teams to lose the first two in a best-of-seven series have come back to win, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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It continued a trend that existed in Game 1 as well as in the series against Columbus, which routinely watched early-game shot surges go to waste.

As the Stanley Cup Playoffs have unfolded, my belief in the Penguins' repeat chances has only strengthened, provided they don't keep losing players (defensemen especially) to injury. But the 2009 Cup victor is one of the biggest reasons they're up 2-0 as he has stopped 67 of 71 shots through two games. Evgeny Kuznetsov evened the game at 2-2 in the third and Nick Bonino got the game-winner with 8 minutes to play. "It's fun to win". However, as always, Washington didn't get the bounces they needed while Pittsburgh did.

When the Penguins disposed of the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games in the first round, their coach, Mike Sullivan, spoke of his team's "compete level".

Head coach Barry Trotz commented on Holtby's performance following Game 2, saying that he wasn't "as sharp as he can be", and Holtby was also critical of himself, telling the Washington Post that he could have been better. The Swiss pivot has closed the gap with his dynamic play, which came at a time when Patrick's injury-riddled season was ended prematurely by an upper-body ailment that wasn't related to the groin/abdominal issues that plagued him for the first half of the season.

Phil Kessel, really, really likes the playoffs.

"I couldn't see the puck for a little while there, I had no stick, so I was trying to make some stops", Fleury said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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