The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins’ series turns to Pittsburgh, with the Pens having the potential to close this series out. Two wins for the Pens, and they will have a sweep over the Capitals. Things got out of control for Washington, who fell 6-2 in Game 2 in Pittsburgh.
They have only themselves to blame, as the Capitals had chances on chances to blow it open in the 1st period. They could have easily scored 2 or 3 goals in that frame, but like their entire existence in the playoffs, they choked and couldn’t seize the opportunities right there in front of them.
Unlike the Capitals, the Penguins know how to make bread when they have it presented to them. This is why Crosby has already hoisted two Stanley Cups, while Ovechkin is still looking, and with a loss tonight, it’s going to be a near impossible chore to come back from. Instead of Ovechkin taking the spotlight in Game 2, it was Jake Guentzel who was making life incredibly difficult on the Caps.
Guentzel scored a couple, one an empty netter, to bring his goal scoring total up to 7 goals in the playoffs. Note that he scored just 16 goals all season long, so he’s nearly on pace to eclipse what he did in the regular season. Like I’ve said in the past, there’s always one guy like this who rises to the occasion and gets noticed.
Guentzel is turning some heads, as is Nick Bonino who is coming up clutch as well. While Crosby and Malkin steal the spotlight, there are others who go about their business in their shadows who play a big role, too. Go below for our Capitals vs. Penguins Game 3 pick in Pittsburgh.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 3 Pick
Once the Penguins got rolling in Game 2, there was no slowing them down. You just knew that the Capitals had to bury their chances when they had them in the 1st period or they were going to lose. Sure enough, the Penguins buried them. And a lot of ways, after we went to the intermission 0-0, it almost felt like the Capitals were not winning the game. Now, it almost feels like they aren’t winning the series.
The Penguins have been a dominant team at home. They are 34-6-2 at home, including the regular season and playoffs combined. The Capitals can win on the road, as they’re 25-12-3, but it’s not going to be easy in Pittsburgh. They’ve put themselves in a position that makes this a must-win Game 3. They are not coming back from down 0-3, so a win is needed.
Holtby was pulled in Game 2, with the game relatively within reach. He allowed 3 goals on 9 shots, so it was a total team failure losing Game 2.
That’s just not how Holtby was programmed to play in the regular season. I will say one thing, Shattenkirk better wake up and start earning a paycheck. The guy has not only been useless, but he’s becoming a liability. The only argument I can make for the Capitals in Game 3 is that they have to win. Having to win doesn’t always translate to winning, though, as we all know. The Capitals haven’t the slightest how to execute. The Penguins are the epitome of that. Pittsburgh gets this one, adding to the frustration that is already written on the faces of the Caps.
PICK: PENGUINS (-125)