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Braden Holtby: In goal for Game 2

02 May 2018

The Pittsburgh Penguins are just 1-2 at home during the playoffs, while the Washington Capitals are riding an eight-game road winning streak.

The Penguins return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for Game 3 in a series that has moved quickly from the Capitals' frustration after blowing a lead in a Game 1 loss to the Penguins' frustration after a series of controversial moments didn't go their way in a Game 2 loss.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had a very rough series against the Pittsburgh Penguins a year ago.

After the Capitals stormed back against the Columbus Blue Jackets thanks to their power-play and penalty kill, both units helped them get a win in Game 2. "I thought we played really well in Game 1 but they got some timely goals".

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So the Penguins would have lost 4-2 instead of 4-1, ok but the finer details need to be glossed over a bit more. The Caps also got a goal from Jakub Vrana in the first period, and Brett Connolly scored the first postseason goal of his career in the second period. Turns out he won't be playing at all. Malkin appeared to injure his left leg in Game 5 of Pittsburgh's first-round series against Philadelphia and has not played since.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have really had the number of the Capitals the last few years, especially in the postseason, but sometimes the breaks don't always go our way.

For the visiting Penguins, the offense will be coordinated by Sidney Crosby (36 goals, 68 assists) and Evgeni Malkin (45 goals, 58 assists). That would have made it 3-2 and it could have changed the way the rest of the game was played. "I don't know what angles they have, but the one I saw made it pretty clear that it had to be a goal". An away victory in the playoffs is never easy, but nevertheless serves as a staple of their quest for Lord Stanley's trophy. If they chip in and chip in consistently, that team has a chance to win. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing three goals per game and are killing 80 percent of their opponents power plays.

There may have been some fear and trepidation on the Washington bench, but this time head coach Barry Trotz's team would hold on to the lead and even added an empty-net goal. All three Capitals goals in Game Two through two periods have beat Murray glove side. Through 89 regular season matches, 49 of its games have gone over the total, while 35 have gone under and just five have pushed.

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I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it's just so ideal.

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And even if they could stifle Crosby's efforts, the Flyers just couldn't contain the explosiveness of winger Jake Guentzel.

Matt Murray (26.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh.

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Braden Holtby: In goal for Game 2