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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Mike Sullivan Works His Magic Again

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Most observers (columnist sheepishly raises his hand) thought the Penguins were cooked after the Monday Night Massacre. The Capitals seemed to be progressively outplaying them, to the point where Game 6 was not competitive.

The Capitals were finally going to have their day. They weren’t going to be the Buffalo Bills anymore (although at least the Bills made it to the Super Bowl).

But that was before Sullivan put his team through a rigorous, 45-minute workout/tutorial Tuesday, before he made a series of tactical changes, reworked all his lines, changed two of his defense pairs and inserted Carter Rowney and Scott Wilson into the lineup.

If the Penguins were going to go down, it wouldn’t be because the coach was stubborn.

“His ability to stay calm and refocus us is something our team feeds off of,” said defenseman Ian Cole. “His message was, ‘Nothing that happened before matters; it only matters what you’re going to do tonight to help this team win.’ “

more

Below, watch the game highlights and handshake line...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Same Result For The Washington Capitals

from Thomas Bosewell of the Washington Post,

The boos started in Verizon Center with 33.5 seconds left to play and all hope gone — again. The wave of disappointment from Washington fans, to give them credit, was not terribly loud, a kind of ritual admonition administered annually with only middling conviction to the incorrigible child of American pro sports: the Washington Capitals.

The punishment perfectly fit the crime because the Caps played with merely middling conviction themselves in their season-ending 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series, the exact postseason juncture at which this pupil with “A” talent almost always hands in a “D” paper on the final exam.

Some of the red-clad Caps fans trickled out of Verizon during a last desperate, pathetically pointless Washington timeout. But the huge majority stayed seated. Who has the bad manners to stand up and walk out before the funeral is finished?

This was, indeed, a funeral for hockey hope. The Caps, who claimed publicly long ago that they would win multiple Stanley Cups in the Alex Ovechkin Era, and who were predicted to win the Cup often, including this year, may never be so strong again. Or face a central foe so wounded as the Penguins, who were without their best goalie, their best defenseman, Kris Letang, and, in Game 7, useful veterans defenseman Trevor Daley and winger Carl Hagelin, too.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Pittsburgh Penguins Advance To The Eastern Conference Final

By defeating the Washington Capitals 2-0, they earn the right to face the Ottawa Senators.

Game-winning goal from Bryan Rust.

 

 

Second goal by Patric Hornqvist is below...

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Two Game 7’s Tonight, Your Picks

I will do the normal open post tonight but now is probably the time to ask, who do you have tonight.

I am picking the Penguins and Ducks with one of the games going to OT, not sure which one at this point, but hopefully it is the early game.

First question should be, will you even be watching then follow up with who wins.

In case you have been under a rock- Pittsburgh at Washington and Edmonton at Anaheim.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 7- Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The message Penguins coach Mike Sullivan presented to his team Tuesday, even as the Capitals have pushed back in such a dominant fashion that you have to give them an edge going into Game 7, is that this is a huge opportunity. These are the games in which they live to play. He believes experience in these big situations will serve his team well; he has seen that his group has a knack for seizing the opportunities in front of it.

Trotz's group believes it has developed a resiliency and calm that previous incarnations of the Capitals did not have. The Caps get the biggest possible stage besides Stanley Cup finals to prove it. We might look back and suggest that this was, in its own way, a prelude to the Cup.

Eight years ago, Ovechkin and Crosby had their entire careers ahead of them. We thought that Game 7 was a preview of more of these moments to come. The reality is that we had to wait. And now the hockey world is watching because we know that you can't just assume it's going to happen again.

"I was just talking about it last night: Is this not the best rivalry in the game right now?" Yeo said. "You don't have your Colorados and Detroits anymore with the physical play."

Instead, you have Crosby vs. Ovechkin. The reigning champions vs. a team desperate to win its own. A surging Capitals team hitting its stride vs. a Penguins team looking to dig deep for one more win and see what happens from there.

more

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Now Face A Game 7

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Anything can happen in a Game 7. The Penguins won Games 1 and 2 in Washington so they won’t be afraid of the Verizon Center Wednesday night. They also have the Capitals’ history of failure against them in eight of their nine previous postseason matchups on their side.

But it’s hard to like the Penguins’ chances, isn’t it?

A team with Crosby, Malkin and Phil Kessel managed just 18 shots on Holtby. The Penguins’ first shot on goal didn’t come until 12:17 into the first period, and that one was from 136 feet when Brian Dumoulin happened to direct his clearing attempt on a Washington power play right at Holtby.

The reuniting of the HBK Line — Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Kessel — didn’t help. That group had seven goals and 18 points in the Penguins’ six-game series win against the Capitals last season. They produced nothing Wednesday night.

Not the three power plays were productive for the Penguins. They produced just two shots. It’s no wonder people were angry and booing. How can a team with so much offensive skill look so bad?

more

Highlights of Washington's 5-2 can be viewed below...

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Video- Sidney Crosby Goes Hard Into The End Boards

A lot of tweets wondering why he wasn't pulled off the ice by the spotters.

 

 

added 9:23pm, Bob McKenzie with the protocol....

added 11:29am on 5/9/17, added a GIF below of how the Caps are playing Crosby....

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The Washington Capitals Want To Change The Storyline

from Tom Gulliti of NHL.com,

Up to this point, the Eastern Conference Second Round between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins has followed roughly the same script as the second-round series between the teams last season.

Like last year, the Capitals trailed 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, but won Game 5 at home at force a Game 6. Last season they were eliminated in Game 6 in Pittsburgh.

"It's an opportunity to be in the same situation and write a different ending, which is very lucky for us. That's what you want," defenseman Karl Alzner said after the Capitals morning skate. "You want another opportunity and a crack at the game and this is exactly it."

The Capitals spent a long summer thinking about what they could have done differently after losing Game 6 last season. If they could have had a chance then to play that game over, they would have taken it.

Now they have it and don't want to waste the opportunity.

"Seldom in life do you get a chance to be in a position like we were last year, the position we were a couple of games ago," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "So it's just an opportunity. We're going to focus on [Game 6] and we have to. All that last game has done is get us an opportunity to continue to play and that's how we have to approach [Game 6]."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Pittsburgh Penguins Move On, Focus Is Now On Game 6

from Jonathan Bombulie of hte Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had no use for nuance as he sat in his locker stall after Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night.

Momentum swings that went in favor of the Capitals, partially deflected shots that ended up on the sticks of Washington players, bounces evening out over the course of a best-of-seven series — Fleury wasn't interested in pondering any of those possibilities.

He gave up three goals in a span of five minutes in the third period, allowing the Capitals to erase a one-goal deficit and claim a 4-2 victory, and for that, he was falling on his sword.

"Just today in general was probably my worst one of the playoffs, I think," Fleury said. "I kind of want to forget about it quickly and move on."

By losing, the Penguins made the road ahead much more difficult and they know it.

They still lead the series 3-2 but Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena on Monday night is now a critically important contest. Win it, and the series is over. Lose it and head back to Washington for a decisive Game 7 on a two-game skid.

"We know the last one's always the hardest to get," Fleury said. "It's disappointing. Move on and redeem ourselves."

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sidney Crosby Participated In Practice And Alex Ovechkin Moved To The Third Line

Sidney Crosby participated in practice today.

 

 

And Alex Ovechkin has been moved to the third line...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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