Capitals vs. Penguins – Game 3 Recap

***All games are here just scroll down accordingly…

Game 1

Alright… so here we go. Caps vs. Pens. We all saw this coming and this match up is so intriguing. The top 2 teams this year in points in the NHL facing off in the 2nd round with some of the best players of the past decade on each side. These two teams fuckin hate each other its that simple. This game got physical right away. Both teams finished their hits hard and every whistle led to someone pushing someone else. Both teams traded chances in the 1st but no one would score. A main part was top shelf goal tending. Check this save early by Fluery…


It was obvious that this series is going to be a physical battle. Going into the 2nd, Sidney Crosby would take over and show why his is the best player in the world. He would score two goals in the first minute of the 2nd period…


That one was in 12 seconds in and the other would come shortly after on a play in front of the net. He is such a skilled shooter. Those two goals sucked the energy out of the crowd. The Pens would get a majority of the scoring chances in the 2nd period. Mostly off of fast breaks. Their forwards are all so fast and when they get moving, can be very tough to stop. Holtby made may big saves on odd-man opportunities. Then late in the 2nd, a big hit on Malkin would turn the momentum. After the big hit the Caps would go on a fast break and set Ovi up for a laser of a wrist shot…


The Caps would use that swing of momentum to control most of the 3rd period. Down a goal, they would get chances to tie. Fluery was great until Matt Niskanen would turn an dish a perfect pass to Kuznetsov who is there to one-time it in…


The fans were fired up and the Caps were looking like the better team. Then a boneheaded play by Orpik being out of position on defense would allow Bonino to get open while accelerating…


Tough one to swallow for the Caps late in the game after finally crawling back from the hole Crosby put them into within the first minute of the 2nd period. The Caps would not quit, putting on late attacks to try and tie it. This insane sequence happened with 3 minutes left. Click the link for the full video. Absolutley nuts how they did not score. Just Pens skaters sacrificing the body to block the shot. Plays like this are what maakes playoff hockey the best, nucking futs.

The Caps would pull Holtby with about 2 minutes left and put on an absolute barage on Fluery. However, Fluery would be up to the task and stop everything. The Caps would out shoot the Pens 16-6 in the 3rd, and really look like the better team, but could not tie it. The Pens blocked 29 shots compared to the Caps 8. The Caps would record 41 hits compared to the Pens 17.

Series: 1-0 Pens. The Caps out played the Pens in game 1 no doubt, but goals scored is all that really counts. Crosby is the best player in the world and with him on the ice the Pens are always in the game. His strike in one minute alone of the 2nd period proved to be the difference in the game. The Caps need to be more physical with him.

Game 2

After a physical game 1 that went to the Pens, the Caps are almost in a must win mentality. They do not want to go down 2-0 going to Pittsburgh. The Caps would out play the Pens in the majority of the 1st out shooting the Pens 16-5, but both goalies would be perfect and keep the game scoreless. Early in the 2nd, the Caps would go on the power play. But, an incredible individual effort by Matt Cullen would give the Pens the lead short handed. He would block Shattenkirk’s shot, out skate him and then out muscle him in front to score the first goal of the game…


Terrible play by Shattenkirk to let him get by and score. He would throw a -1 in game 1 and eventually a -2 in game 2. He is really struggling. On that same power play less than a minute later, the Caps would answer. Ovechkin would send a perfect pass across the ice to Niskanen who one-times it in. The Caps looked ready to roll and had momentum until Crosby strikes again. This time with an incredible skill play entering the zone and dishing a perfect pass to Kessel…


What a play, Kessel would eventually wrist it top shelf. Crosby took away 3 defenders essentially with that play. A few minutes later, he would make another great play. He would block a shot and while diving, pass the puck Guentzel who would go the length of the ice to score and take the lead…


Enough cant be said about him. Just on another level on both ends of the ice. That also makes 7 goals this playoffs for 22 year old Guentzel. Wow. Down 3-1 going into the 3rd, the Caps would pull Holtby for Grubauer. The Pens would get an early power play and capitalize to make it 4-1. Kessel would wrist a laser past Grubauer’s 5-hole. A few minutes after, a Caps fast break would open up Ovechkin for a shot and Backstrom would be there to finish the rebound. This would give the Caps some momentum but it would be too little too late. The Pens would get two more goals to make the final 6-2.

Series: 2-0 Pens. The Pens look like the best team in the world by far after dominating game 2. Their forwards are just too much for the Caps, too fast and too skilled. The way they are playing nobody looks capable of beating them. Crosby is the best player in the world by FAR, and when he has other superstars like Malkin, Kessel and Hornqvist it is unfair. Plus guys like Rust, Bonino and Guentzel have stepped up to score big goals. Guentzel has 7 this playoffs and 3 game winners. Time to panic in Washington…

Game 3

After the first two games in Washington went to the visiting Pens, the Caps look to avoid a fatal 3-0 hole in Pittsburgh. The game got right off to a fast pace back and forth battle with both teams trading chances. Both goalies made some amazing saves. About 5 minutes in, the biggest play of the series (maybe the entire playoffs) would happen. Niskanen would check Crosby in the head and fuck his shit up… bad hit but in the moment who knows how intention it was to hit him high…


Crosby would come out of the game after this and Niskanen would get a game misconduct. There was a nervous edgy feeling in the crowd waiting to hear the status of Crosby going forward. But, there would be a game to finish for both teams so they had to keep playing hard and hone their emotions. The Pens would get shut out on their 5 minute power play but they would get this great chance off of a rebound. What a defensive play by Winnik…


Crazy. Later in the period the Caps would get a power play and get the first goal of the game. Nice play by Backstrom getting it to the net and getting the fortunate bounce…


Back to back games with goals for him. The Pens did not look the same without Crosby. Three Capitals penalties would keep their offense at bay in the 2nd period. It was filled with great saves by both goalies to keep the score 2-1. Another crazy play around the net, Fluery just getting enough of the stick on it to prevent it from going in….


This game was getting more and more physical as the game was going on. They obviously hate each others guts. Especially after Crosby was knocked out of the game, making even more fuel to the fire. A few different time, the guys on the ice went at it (since its the playoffs they just pushed, shoved and choked each other). Here is one example after two big hits set up the scrum….


That scrum went on for about 5 minutes and emotions were starting to take over. Midway through the 3rd, the Caps would score to go up 2-0. A nice play by Kuznetsov to hold the puck just long enough to beat Fluery…


The Caps would control most of the 3rd period and it looked like they were going to take game 3, but then the Pens would show incredible resiliency. They would pull Fluery with about 3 minutes left. They would get great chances then, Malkin would rip one past Holtby, channeling his inner Crosby…


Oh no Caps. Not looking good. Pens had all of the momentum now. The Pens would win the following face off and go right back on the assault. They would possess the puck and line Schultz up for a blast from the point….


Unbelievable. I mean it is believable but wow. Just wow. How the fuck do they let that happen. Just win a damn face off! Even without Crosby, the Pens were able to fight back from improbable odds. I was thinking, if the Caps blow this in OT they should just pack up and sell the franchise. No way anyone could recover from this. But they would not completely crumble. Shattenkirk would avenge his dismal performance in games 1 & 2 while on the power play. With a good screen in front, he would sneak one past Fluery for the game winner.

Series: 2-1 Pens. Well, now with Crosby out who knows. The Caps outplayed the Pens in game 1 and still lost. In game 2 they were embarrassed at home. Without Crosby, they were able to have just enough to beat the Pens. He has already been ruled out for game 4 and his status going forward is unknown. He has had concussions in the past and that could be a major factor in making the decision on him coming back. Without him the Pens still have plenty of talent to go far and with their current 2-1 lead, that could be enough to help them limp past the Caps. But who knows. The Caps are so unpredictable in the playoffs. You never know which Caps team is going to show up, the Presidents trophy winning team or the team that blows 2-0 leads in the last minute and a half. Game 4 is still in Pittsburgh, if the Caps can steal this one without Crosby and even the series, that will beĀ YUGE.

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