The Washington Capitals are in familiar territory as they look to somehow get back in their second round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night. The Capitals were eliminated at this same time last season to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Washington came out firing in the opening period of Game 2, but none of the 16 shots on goal got past Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury. On the other end of the ice, reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby was chased from the game after allowing three goals on 14 shots as the Penguins came out with the 6-2 win and a commanding 2-0 series lead heading back home. “There’s no question he’s our goaltender. We expect him to start (Monday)”, said Washington head coach Barry Trotz. Holtby, who has allowed six goals on 35 shots for a 3.67 goals-against average and .829 save percentage in this series, recorded a 3-1-0 mark with one shutout, a 2.27 GAA and .922 save percentage in four games after being pulled this season. The Capitals could use a lot more production from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, the prized in-season trade acquisition. He has failed to score a goal and owns an NHL-worst -7 rating in eight playoff games. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only 18 of 87 teams have come back to win a seven-game series after losing the first two.
The Penguins are in great shape after Saturday’s big win in which captain Sidney Crosby set up two goals and Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel each scored two. Guentzel also had an assist in Saturday’s lopsided victory, with his two goals giving him an NHL-best seven in his first seven playoff games – putting the rookie alongside Maurice “Rocket” Richard (10, 1943-44) and Dino Ciccarelli (seven, 1980-81) as the lone players to accomplish the feat. Kessel led the NHL in points last postseason and finds himself among the leaders once again in 2017. He scored two goals and set up another in Game 2 to increase his point total to 11 – which trails only teammate Evgeni Malkin (13). Malkin joined fellow former Hart Trophy winner Crosby in scoring a goal and an assist in Game 2, with the latter recording 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during his six-game streak and surpassing Jaromir Jagr for second on the Penguins’ all-time playoff points list (131). Fleury stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced and head coach Mike Sullivan said he’s been the best player on the team, including Crosby. Fleury served as Matt Murray’s backup in last year’s Stanley Cup run and split time with him this season, but has the experience in big games as he helped the Pens win the 2009 title.
I really can’t see Washington winning this series at all and they have a ton of pressure on them. The Penguins are flying high right now and have beaten Washington six straight times at home. Make it seven.
Capitals are 10-1 in their last 11 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Capitals are 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
Capitals are 5-1 in their last 6 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
Capitals are 7-2 in their last 9 vs. Metropolitan.
Capitals are 39-12 in their last 51 games playing on 1 days rest.
Capitals are 16-5 in their last 21 Monday games.
Capitals are 18-6 in their last 24 vs. a team with a winning record.
Capitals are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
Capitals are 7-3 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Capitals are 39-17 in their last 56 overall.
Capitals are 63-29 in their last 92 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Capitals are 35-17 in their last 52 vs. Eastern Conference.
Capitals are 1-6 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
Penguins are 6-0 in their last 6 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Penguins are 6-1 in their last 7 overall.
Penguins are 6-1 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
Penguins are 21-5 in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Penguins are 46-14 in their last 60 home games.
Penguins are 44-16 in their last 60 vs. Metropolitan.
Penguins are 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games.
Penguins are 54-21 in their last 75 games playing on 1 days rest.
Penguins are 30-12 in their last 42 games following a win.
Penguins are 12-5 in their last 17 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Penguins are 66-28 in their last 94 vs. Eastern Conference.
Penguins are 53-23 in their last 76 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Penguins are 1-7 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Over is 5-0-4 in Capitals last 9 Monday games.
Under is 8-1-3 in Capitals last 12 vs. Metropolitan.
Under is 5-1 in Capitals last 6 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Under is 5-1 in Capitals last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Over is 17-4-9 in Capitals last 30 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 20-6-2 in Capitals last 28 following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
Over is 9-3-1 in Capitals last 13 road games.
Under is 12-4-6 in Capitals last 22 Conference Semifinals games.
Under is 3-1-1 in Capitals last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
Under is 14-5-2 in Capitals last 21 vs. Eastern Conference.
Over is 6-0 in Penguins last 6 Monday games.
Over is 4-1 in Penguins last 5 overall.
Over is 4-1 in Penguins last 5 vs. Metropolitan.
Under is 3-1-1 in Penguins last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Over is 18-6-6 in Penguins last 30 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 5-2 in Penguins last 7 games following a win.
Over is 20-8 in Penguins last 28 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Over is 42-18-7 in Penguins last 67 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Over is 48-22-11 in Penguins last 81 home games.
Over is 30-14-1 in Penguins last 45 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Over is 32-15-5 in Penguins last 52 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Over is 34-16-2 in Penguins last 52 games playing on 1 days rest.
Over is 35-17 in Penguins last 52 vs. Eastern Conference.
HEAD TO HEAD
Over is 3-0-4 in the last 7 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Over is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings.
Home team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
Capitals are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings.
Capitals are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings in Pittsburgh.
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