Don’t get me wrong, the Penguins had no business being in this one throughout the first ten minutes. In fact, it was so out of hand at times I was almost rooting for it to be a quick blowout just so I could turn on the NFL Draft (Gary Bettman is a fucking idiot for scheduling this game the same day as the draft, btw) and watch the Browns draft the fourth-rated QB first overall (LOLOLOLOL). I mean, Christ, before you could even put your hand down your pants to scratch your balls (or twat, we’re an equal opportunity blog, FYI), the Pens turned the puck over to Ovechkin who promptly fed that wing-flapping asshole, Evgeny Kuznetsov, with a one-timer to make it 1-0 Caps at 19:43. Not an ideal start (also, shoutout to me for posting the official scoring time and doing the math correctly). Then, about two minutes later, Ovi missed an absolute gimme by a mile.
This would turn out to be a huge moment in this game. If Ovechkin buries that puck, the Caps most likely win this game. Buttttttt he didn’t. And that’s typically been the difference between these Pens-Caps series over the last three years. When the Penguins get their opportunities, they capitalize on them. When the Capitals gets their opportunities, well, they do shit like this:
Doesn’t matter how many more shots or hits you have than the Penguins, if you don’t bury opportunities like these you’re never going to get out of the second round of the playoffs.
In the meantime, just when you thought Braden Holtby looked like a brick wall that couldn’t be beaten throughout the first 40 minutes of play, the Pens ultimately broke him down just like they always do. Three unanswered goals in the third courtesy of Horny, Sid, and Playoff Jake paired with Conn Smythe-level goaltending from Matt Murray turned out to be the difference maker in game #1.
Ball game. 3-2 Pens.
A few notes:
- The 4th line was absolute mud tonight.
- The Penguins as a whole didn’t exactly have a stellar performance tonight, yet they still won (see above re: Pens capitalizing on opportunities). There’s no way they play this poorly in Game 2.
- Geno participated in the morning skate this morning, which I’m assuming means there’s a good chance he plays on Sunday.
- Hagelin did not skate this morning.
- Pens fans took over the steps. Again. Such a beautiful visual that will never, ever get old. Caps fans are so defeated at this point that they’re even agreeing with our chants at this point.
And that’ll do it for Game 1. Stay tuned for the full recap in the am from Geoff (@G_Off817) per usual.
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