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

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

But Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the third period to help Pittsburgh to the win.

In the 87 times that an National Hockey League team has squandered the first two games at home, just 18 of them have won the series.

In Washington, Crosby spent about 70 percent of his even-strength ice time playing against the defense pair of Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

In the end, Pittsburgh scored on 25 per cent of their shots (including one into the empty net).

It also wasn't the first four-goal game of the season at the Canadien Tire Centre.

Phil Kessel, Penguins - Kessel was Pittsburgh's sharpshooter to lead the way in the blowout victory on Saturday. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he and his staff don't play the matchup game too often, which is perhaps a big reason for the road success dating to previous year. They were relentless, they were drawing penalties, they earned a standing ovation from Capitals fans without even scoring a goal.

When Hornqvist could not return after the first period, Sullivan began pairing up different players on Crosby's line.

Then the quick-strike Penguins were at it again.

"We certainly would like to have better starts".

"We didn't have the luxury of choosing whether we wanted to play well or not on the road and with that comes some confidence", Yeo said.

"I think if you talked to Kevin, he would admit that he can play better".

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The Washington Capitals face an uphill battle after suffering another defeat to reigning NHL Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a "game-time" decision and when players are labeled as such you can usually translate that coach speak into an assurance that the player will be back into the lineup. "There's a lot of things we have to continue doing and hopefully we find a way here to get the first one at home and then take it from there".

"I think patience is something we've got to preach". "They're scrappy. It's a never-say-die attitude". They'll have to make sure to play a whole 60 minutes in Game 2. And they've shown an ability to do that time and time again.

Although Fleury was the Penguins' starter in their Stanley Cup run in 2009, postseason reliability has not been his strength.

"We've got to find a way to put a whole game together", Crosby said.

Said Cullen: "They are always kind of linked, like Mario (Lemieux) and (Wayne) Gretzky".

Second, the Penguins are opportunistic, and that's pretty easy to do when Sidney Crosby is on your team. In 23 games last postseason, he had 10 points (four goals, six assists), which included two goals in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

With the Penguins under constant assault - they were outshot 16-5 in the first period and were shorthanded 29 seconds into the second period of a scoreless game - the Penguins grabbed a 1-0 lead on Matt Cullen's goal, and the doubt had to be creeping into the Capitals' minds. "You never know what's waiting for you in the afterworld".

That last part became kind of important. Kunitz appeared in his 107th playoff game, tying Hall of Famer/co-owner Mario Lemieux for fifth on the Penguins' career list.

I just don't think a regression will doom this team. "He's another one of those players where his best hockey seems to be when the stakes are high". But Crosby's importance goes beyond what he does on the ice.

Suffice it to say, when alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom and other leaders spoke up, it wasn't a cheery message. This effect was seen just last series when the Caps played Toronto.