Penguins chase Holtby, beat Capitals to take 2-0 series lead

WASHINGTON, D.C. - For one glorious period for fans here Saturday night, the Washington Capitals finally looked like the team we expected to see in the postseason.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for Washington, which has yet to lead in the series.

Matt Cullen was in the playoffs with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2009 but he remembers watching the first time Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin met in the playoffs. For the second straight game in this series, the Capitals had twice as many shot attempts but were outscored.

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. The dire situation, a season full of expectation suddenly on the brink, prompted a players-only meeting after the game.

"It's never where you want to be", he said.

The Pittsburgh Penguins earned a 6-2 victory in Game 2 Saturday, extending their series lead to 2-0 over the Presidents' Trophy winners. "I thought some of the goals.he wasn't as sharp as he can be for us".

"We just had to change the mojo". Not only was he relieved of his duties in Game 2, but he had allowed 14 goals through the first four games of the first-round series against Toronto.

Empty seats began to appear throughout Verizon Center after Evgeni Malkin's goal made it 5-2 early in the third period.

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"I'm really enjoying this time right now", a smiling Fleury said. And once again, they're hearing about it.

He started off the first period in a familiar spot, alongside Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel in a mini HBK reunion. "We can't just put it on Braden Holtby".

That'll go up, though, as he works his way back to 100 percent.

Mark Letestu scored two power-play goals and Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the upstart Oilers, who seized home-ice advantage from the Ducks with a four-goal final period. Despite being hooked by Oshie, Cullen slid the puck through the five hole for a short-handed goal and a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.

"We know Conor has a much better game, and that's what we're trying to help him get to", Sullivan said. Washington had more than enough opportunities, and if the Pens only possess the puck for 30 percent of Game 2, the series is coming back to Pittsburgh tied at one. Kessel's wrister went off Holtby's arm and in on Pittsburgh's 12th shot of the game.

Wearing a blue baseball hat instead of a hockey mask, sitting on the Washington Capitals bench instead of guarding their net, Vezina Trophy victor Braden Holtby shook his head as his replacement settled into the crease. The home team took 34 shots in the first period alone compared to just eight from Pittsburgh, although many were blocked before reaching the net.

"We can't get frustrated". "They capitalized on a couple of mistakes in the second, and that changed the game". Pittsburgh LW Carl Hagelin remained out with a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since mid-March. To make room for Hagelin, Pittsburgh F Scott Wilson was a scratch.

The Penguins are rolling again after eliminating Columbus, but the absence of Letang is significant after he logged 31:36 of ice time per game previous year. RW Paul Carey replaced Brett Connolly in the Capitals' lineup.

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