Penguins clobber Capitals to take 2-0 series lead

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"We've got to get our shots through and around the blocks", Trotz said.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for Washington, which has yet to lead in the series.

It was marketed as Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin and, one game in, it has lived up to that billing.

Holtby has not been on his game for the Capitals and was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots.

Washington is two losses removed from again following a Presidents' Trophy win with a conference semifinal exit.

Why didn't Sullivan just hold up an old-fashioned gold watch on a chain, swing it back and forth and say, "You are feeling exhausted". Barry Trotz pulled last season's Vezina Trophy victor Braden Holtby after he gave up three goals on 14 shots in the first two periods.

"I think I closed my eyes when I shot and thankfully it went in", Pageau said of the victor. "When he didn't change the game, I just looked to change the mojo a little bit there, that's all".

Head Coach Barry Trotz benched Braden Holtby, his reigning Vezina Trophy-winner goaltender, in favor of talented backup Philipp Grubauer. As a result, the psychologically scarred Caps are in a 2-0 hole heading back to Pittsburgh and their facial expressions late in Saturday's game did not suggest an untapped well of belief. Malkin's deflection was initially waved off for goaltender interference, but the Penguins challenged and the call was overturned.

Guentzel added an empty-net goal to seal it for the Penguins, his playoff-best seventh.

"His leadership with this team, both through his example and on a daily basis, and the influence he has on our young players and the rest of the group, I can't say enough for", Sullivan said. And once again, they're hearing about it.

As the Washington Capitals came out for the third period of Game Two, a new player skated out to defend the net. "He's a game-changer for us". The Capitals arguably played one of their best first periods to start the game as they outshot Pittsburgh, 16-5.

The longer this series goes, the better the chance that the general shape of Game 1, rather than just its score, will become decisive.

"It was the players in here and what was said is what needed to be said". It's a seven game series, and if the Capitals play like they did last night they are going to win four of those games, probably in a row. Ryan Dzingel tied it with a power-play goal 11 minutes after McDonagh tallied.

Phil Kessel, Penguins - Kessel was Pittsburgh's sharpshooter to lead the way in the blowout victory on Saturday. But the 2009 Cup victor is one of the biggest reasons they're up 2-0 as he has stopped 67 of 71 shots through two games.

On the first goal, Hornqvist's effort in the neutral zone to gain control of a 50-50 puck led to a break up ice that Crosby finished after streaking down the right side and taking Guentzel's ideal cross-ice pass. "We've got to shoot it quicker before they can get in those lanes". In the National Hockey League playoffs, sometimes it's better to have the best player in the game on your team.

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin, who had been out with a lower body injury, played for the first time since March 10.

But Pittsburg made it 5-2 at 5:31. Capitals D Karl Alzner missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. RW Paul Carey replaced Brett Connolly in the Capitals' lineup. We're experienced, skilled, and we know how to play as a team. Pittsburgh F Chris Kunitz passed Mario Lemieux for fifth place on the team's all-time postseason games played list with 108.

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russian Federation, chases the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist (72), of Sweden, during Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Thursday, .