Capitals replace Holtby in goal for 3rd period of Game 2
May 07 2017 by Kelly Saunders
The Washington Capitals couldn't solve Marc-Andre Fleury, Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a game to remember, and being shorthanded wasn't much of a disadvantage.
In the first round last month against Montreal, the Rangers trailed 2-1 before also winning three in a row to advance.
Grubauer didn't fare any better, allowing two goals in eight shots on goal.
Fleury is sporting an impressive.934 save percentage this postseason, well above his career playoff average of.908. As the team filtered off the ice following a 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, several players approached Coach Barry Trotz and asked him if they could deliver the postgame message to the room. But about 1 minute into the second period, the Penguins' Matt Cullen scored a shorthanded breakaway goal that seemed to take the wind out of the Capitals' sails.
The longer this series goes, the better the chance that the general shape of Game 1, rather than just its score, will become decisive. He scored goals on his first two shots in his National Hockey League debut.
After the game, Fleury spoke with Sportsnet's Christine Simpson.
As you see, there were a few other key developments in this lottery.
While everything is butterflies and rainbows in the Penguins net, the Capitals may have a goalie controversy in theirs.
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.
The Washington Capitals, who went into this playoff series as one of the favorites to go on and win the Stanley Cup, now find themselves with their backs against the wall.
After Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored four goals for the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 on Saturday including the double-overtime victor that put them up 2-0 in the series against the New York Rangers, it might be time for another defensive strategy. But Cullen, who had four goals and six points in Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup run previous year, is once again playing an essential part to the Penguins' success. Through the playoffs, they have struggled to put up any goals, and because of that, they have lost games, been unable to recover or even the score or even take the lead. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won 10 of their last 11 games when allowing four or less goals. Included in their meetings was a playoff game in 2009 when they each netted a hat trick. Crosby made plays on both goals that swung the momentum for a 3-1 lead when the Penguins were being dominated. Holtby was pulled four times during the regular season and responded well, going 3-1-0 with a 2.27 GAA, a.922 save percentage and one shutout in his starts that followed those games.
Sportsnet's Chris Johnson has more on Pageau's special day in his post-game column.
The series heads to NY for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
Ready for playoff hockey?
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.
Who said being shorthanded was a disadvantage?
But that wasn't the case on Saturday. And Washington had two power play opportunities in the period, compared to none for Pittsburgh.
The more honest the Caps are with themselves about the true difficulty of title runs - how almost terrifying they can seem at times and how quickly true crises jump up in your face - the better they can cope with them. Overall, he doesn't look like the Holtby we've come to know through the playoffs.