NHL Playoffs: Penguins take 2-0 lead over Capitals

Kevin Shattenkirk, the trade-deadline acquisition who was supposed to put Washington over the top, was beaten for a shorthanded goal by Pittsburgh's Matt Cullen and took a silly delay penalty that led to a Penguins power-play score.

Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel each finished with two goals and one assist in the Penguins rout, with Guentzel's final score coming on an open net.

The Washington Capitals face an uphill battle after suffering another defeat to reigning NHL Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Crosby set up two goals and the Penguins chased Holtby in a 6-2 victory Saturday night in Game 2, taking a commanding 2-0 lead back home.

WASHINGTON - Following the rest of his teammates, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby was the last player to come out of Washington's locker room for the start of the third period Saturday night. It's not flawless by any stretch out there, and we're aware of that, we know that, but what I love about this group of players is that they respond the right way. Fleury has allowed four goals on 71 shots (0.944 save percentage). In the first-round series against Toronto, Holtby was criticized after he allowed four goals in three straight games, almost getting benched in Game 4. To attempt their own comeback, the Capitals might turn back to Holtby for Game 3 Monday night in Pittsburgh after backup Philipp Grubauer allowed two goals on the first four shots he faced in relief.

"You come out of the period and the game's even, and I think we felt like we had an opportunity to grab one in the second", said Sidney Crosby. "Obviously, he's been special so far and he won us the game again".

Washington seems incapable of changing the mojo. When these two get on the ice, it's like they have a game between themselves.

Sullivan said Hagelin remains a game-time decision. "It's fun to win".

Yet the Penguins have scored nine goals, compared to four for the Capitals. Washington outshot Pittsburgh 36-21 but has nothing to show for it.

In the playoffs, Fleury has a 2.37 goals-against average and a sterling.936 save percentage. If he keeps up the current goal-a-game pace (and the Penguins keep playing) he could get there midway through the Eastern Conference final.

For TSN's Draft Lottery edition, five scouts ranked the 6-foot-2, 198-pound Patrick No. 1; five scouts ranked the 6-foot-1, 176-pound Hischier No. 1.

For example, Sidney Crosby, who did significant damage against the Capitals in Game 1, had too much space and freedom against the Capitals, and he made them pay. "He's real strong out there and he'll make a great play". And Kessel wasn't even surprised to see Crosby make a highlight-reel play. "But I think you have to give credit to our opponents, as well".

To be the champs, you've got to beat the champs. For the former kid thrust into the National Hockey League at age 18 back in 2003, it truly was uncharted territory over the a year ago to watch as Matt Murray backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2016, with nothing for Fleury to do but don a baseball cap from the bench, bite his lip and be happy for his brothers who were involved. Patric Hornqvist did not return after blocking a shot with his ankle late in the first period; Tom Kuhnhackl took one off his arm late in the game; and Ron Hainsey was drilled in the lead late in the game.



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