It looked oh-so-good for Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals, until it unequivocally didn’t.
Jake Guentzel continues to be a playoff hero, Sidney Crosby continues to be himself, and notwithstanding a fact a Penguins didn’t even have Evgeni Malkin in a lineup, Pittsburgh won a opener of this highly-anticipated Round 2 playoffs rematch—the Crosby vs. Ovechkin show.
It certain didn’t disappoint.
The Penguins clawed behind from a 2-0 necessity and scored 3 unanswered goals in a third duration to acquire a 3-2 win over Washington, in Washington, to a dismay of a sea of red fans during Capital One Arena.
Here are 6 takeaways from Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over Washington on Thursday.
No Time Wasted
If we indispensable any denote that this rematch was going to be a doozy, it suggested itself in a opening 17 seconds.
At a dump of a puck, Crosby won a faceoff and a Penguins got a shot away, though afterwards a play incited a other approach and all happened oh-so-fast.
Tom Wilson dished it to Ovechkin, who threw adult a beauty of an airborne dermatitis pass, that Evgeny Kuznetsov jumped on and soon wristed past Penguins goalie, Matt Murray, glove-side, to make it 1-0.
Only 17 seconds had expired. Kuznetsov’s recover was filthy, and a hometown throng was in a tizzy.
And after that one, we couldn’t assistance though wonder: Will this be a Capitals’ year? Finally? Maybe?
In a initial 5 minutes, Ovechkin was teed adult for a one-timer on a scarcely wide-open net, and he shot good wide, afterwards forsaken to his knees. It could’ve been 2-0 early on for a Capitals.
Ovechkin didn’t even record a shot in a initial or second periods.
But No. 8’s initial was a genuine beauty. It came in a opening seconds of a third and on another two-on-one, and Ovechkin clearly had no idea on passing. From his off-wing, he rifled a wrister, tip shelf, glove side. It was 2-0 Capitals, usually 28 seconds into a third.
How’d we know Ovechkin was going to shoot? He stranded out his tongue usually before he dismissed it.
Gone in 4 mins and 49 seconds…
Washington’s hopes of winning this game, that is. Kind of.
The Penguins have won a final dual Stanley Cups for a reason. There were moments in their first-round array opposite Philadelphia when a Flyers were dire and dire and dire and got a dozen chances, and afterwards unexpected Pittsburgh would take it a other approach and measure on a singular shot and siphon all a wish out of a opposition, and win.
It was a same thing here. It took a Penguins, down 2-0 in a third, usually 2:21 to tie this thing adult and 4:49 to take a 3-2 lead they’d never relinquish.
A small over dual mins after Ovechkin done it 2-0, Patric Hornqvist sloping one home to cut Washington’s lead to one.
And then, we can substantially theory who tied things up. Who else? Crosby, co-leader of these playoffs in goals (7) and second altogether in points (16), slapped one home.
Little some-more than dual mins after that, Crosby threw one during a net from a side boards, and Guentzel got a hang on it. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby could usually demeanour adult during a roof after that one.
A 2-0 lead, left in a flash.
If we ask Guentzel, it was never in doubt. “Just got to stay with it,” he told reporters, after a game. “Right from Sid, he led a approach for us and it’s right down a lineup. we knew we were removing chances.”
We unequivocally have to speak about Jake
Here are some contribution about Guentzel: He’s a third-round pick. He’s 23. He’s from Omaha, Nebraska. In a unchanging season, he played all 82 games and scored 22 goals and had 48 points. That’s flattering good.
Through 7 games in these playoffs, Guentzel has scored 7 goals. Through 7 games in these playoffs, Guentzel has 16 points. Nobody in a playoffs has more.
He had a team-leading 3 points on Thursday.
In 32 career playoff games, Guentzel has 20 goals. That’s ridiculous.
The male is a playoff machine.
One day, we’ll have to get him to explain it.
It’s early on, though Pittsburgh looks extremely good. Clinically good. They didn’t even have their heading scorer in a unchanging season, Evgeni Malkin, in a lineup on Thursday.
That’s not good news for Washington.
Malkin skated on Thursday morning, and could be behind on Sunday for Game 2.
Holy Holtby and Murr-aculous
The initial duration star really goes to Holtby. He was dialled right in, and he played a good diversion throughout, though generally in a first, that could’ve simply seen Pittsburgh measure a idea or two.
In that initial frame, Holtby done some highlight-reel saves, somehow got a square of a shot from Dominik Simon, that afterwards ricocheted off a post. His nicest save came when he slid opposite a net and done a pad save on Guentzel.
“We had some Grade-As and apparently he done some saves,” Guentzel told reporters, of Holtby.
Down during a other end, Murray, too, was spectacular. Twice, he pacifist opposite a net and done an violent save with his blocker. The biggest came in a failing mins of a game, on Brett Connolly, to safety a lead and a win.
“It’s a good feeling,” a grinning Murray told Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson. “This is a tough building to win in, generally during this time of a year.”
We’ll see if a fortifying champs can take a 2-0 lead when a Penguins and Capitals accommodate again for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon, behind during Capital One Arena.