Capitals replace Holtby in goal for 3rd period of Game 2

Washington is 59-20-10 overall, 34-8-3 at home and 39-35 with the over.

Betting line: The Penguins opened as -135 favorites (wager $135 to win $100); the total is at 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. It was Nicklas Backstrom who then spoke up.

"We had to change sort of the mojo in that situation", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said when asked about pulling Holtby.

And yet they're down 1-0 in this Eastern Conference series between the two best teams from the regular season. Will they push the Caps closer to elimination when they play Game 3 on May 1? "I don't think there are big differences in our game". "We need to go to those places". If a puck doesn't hit Jake Guentzel, if Fleury doesn't miraculously save the day with his mix of athleticism and desperation, if the Capitals found their way on a single power play. He wasn't even Pittsburgh's top option going into the postseason, as Fleury only got the net because Matt Murray got hurt during warmups before the Penguins' first playoff game. The Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period after two quick goals by captain Sidney Crosby. "We know we're playing against a good one, but we know we got a good one". The goal is to win four out of seven, and it really doesn't matter how you do that.

Game 2 is Saturday night. It's not about that. Or can the Caps find that resolve on the road and take their first lead in a game in the series and turn this game around?

They relied on a young Holtby to come up from Hershey and start in a tough playoff series against defending cup champions in the Boston Bruins. 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.

"They're going to punch us in the nose at some point (Tuesday night), and we're going to be ready to punch them back", Yeo said. What few chances the Penguins had, they scored on. "I would have been more disappointed if I didn't". "I thought some of the goals.he wasn't as sharp as he can be for us". "Obviously, we could've been up by a couple and we weren't, and I think we got impatient there and got a little frustrated that we weren't".

"That was the message". "I have a lot of confidence in him". In a quiet locker room after Saturday night's 6-2 drubbing by Pittsburgh, there were grim faces and predictable answers about disappointment, resolve and staying the course.

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"They capitalized on some of our mistakes in the second and it changed the game", Niskanen said.

I'm pretty sure a hockey conspiracy is afoot.

The Capitals' first players-only meeting oddly followed a win. In the game's waning seconds, Guentzel's empty netter was the game's final goal.

In fact, among goalies that have played at least five games in these playoffs, Holtby ranks 13th out of 14 in save percentage with a mark of.911. Last season, he was knocked out of the lineup by a concussion in late March. It's the son of a coach from the middle of flyover country who hasn't been overwhelmed by the prospect of sharing a line with the best player in the world or intimidated by his sport's biggest stage.

Washington no longer has the luxury of time.

What losing Game 1 at home means in all sports and for all teams is: Early wake-up call, boys! At the end of the season, five will be unrestricted free agents and six will be restricted free agents.

That's a level the Washington Capitals, in the era of Alex Ovechkin, have never had in postseason hockey. As that team left the ice as the loser for a second straight game, it searched for a way to prolong this journey. He has the ability to park things.

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