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Caps Today, 5/1/18

May 1, 2018
The Capitals face the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena tonight in Game 3 of the 2018 Eastern Conference semifinals. Washington won Game 2, 4-1 on April 29 to tie the series at 1-1. The Capitals posted a 2-2-0 record against the Penguins during the regular season.

Entering tonight’s game, the Capitals are 10 for 31 on the power-play this postseason and own the second-highest power-play percentage (32.3%) in the playoffs. Washington is leading the playoffs in power-play goals (10). Additionally, Washington has scored a power play goal in seven of their eight playoff games and is one for four against Pittsburgh in this series. Washington was 29-7-3 this season when they recorded at least one power play goal. Additionally, the Capitals penalty kill ranks fourth among teams actively in the playoffs (86.2 percent). The Capitals have killed off 22-straight penalties and haven't allowed a power play goal since Game 2 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 15.


The Great Eight – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin recorded a goal and an assist in Game 2 on April 27. Ovechkin ranks second in the NHL with seven goals in the playoffs (Mark Scheifele, 8). Ovechkin's goal was his 53rd career playoff goal, tied with Bill Barber, Daniel Briere, Stephane Richer and Jeremy Roenick for the 47th most in NHL history. Additionally, Ovechkin is tied for fourth among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.50) and tied for eighth in playoff points per game (0.96). Among the top 10 active playoff goal scorers, Ovechkin ranks sixth, and his 0.50 goals per game ranks first among player on that list. Ovechkin has 29 points (14g, 15a) in 22 career playoff games against the Penguins.

Holtbeast – Since reclaiming the starting role, goaltender Braden Holtby has posted a 5-1-0 record with a 1.95 goals-against average (second among goaltenders currently in the playoffs) and .932 save percentage (second among goaltenders with at least three games played currently in the playoffs). Entering tonight’s game Holtby has posted four shutouts, a 1.99 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in a franchise-record 66 career playoff games. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks second in NHL playoff history (min. 50 games played) in career save percentage and second in career goals-against average. In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff save percentage and goals-against average. Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 42 of his 66 career playoff games and Washington has posted a 29-13 record in those games. During the regular season, Holtby has played in 160 career games following one day of rest, recording 2.16 goals against average and a .927 save percentage, his lowest goals against average and his highest save percentage of any other combination of days with rest.  

Danish Apples - Lars Eller recorded three assists in Game 2, his first three assists of the playoffs. That marked Eller's first career three assist and three point game in the playoffs. This postseason, the Capitals have had three different players record three assist games (Eller; John Carlson: Game 1 and 2 versus Columbus; Evgeny Kuznetsov: Game 4 versus Columbus). The Capitals have had 25 total games featuring a player with at least three assists in franchise history.

Series Breakdown - Entering Game 3, the Capitals have trailed for 12:12, the lowest total among any team in the second round. Additionally, the Capitals have generated 115 shot attempts and have allowed 108 (51.57 shot attempt percentage) and outscored (6-4). 

Quick Starts - In the first two games of the series, the Capitals have scored a goal within the first 1:30 of the game.The Capitals have scored the first goal of the game in seven of their eight playoff games. Of those seven first goals of the game, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson have two each, while Alex Ovechkin has one. Additionally, Washington has 10 goals in the first period, tied for the most in the playoffs and the most the Capitals have in any period (10 goals in first period, nine in the second period, nine in the third period). 

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps and Pens Move on to Pittsburgh for Game 3 / #CapsPens Postgame Notebook: Best-Of-Five

Washington Post: No suspension for Capitals’ Tom Wilson after hit on Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin

Washington Times: To stay loose before games, some Capitals trade hockey for soccer / NHL will not suspend Capitals forward Tom Wilson for Game 2 hit

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals at Penguins Game 3 NHL Playoffs 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream / NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings: Are you a pessimist or optimist with the Capitals? Kuznetsov, Oshie expected to play Game 3 for Capitals against Penguins / Carlson focused on Cup with Capitals, not contract /

AP: AP Source: No hearing for Wilson for hit on Dumoulin / Home is where the ‘L’ is? Home teams struggling in playoffs (Capitals mentioned)

The Athletic: From afterthought to ‘franchise guy’: The remarkable rise of Capitals center Jay Beagle

ESPN: How Braden Holtby stays cool in the intense heat of the playoffs / Capitals' Tom Wilson won't be suspended for hit

The Hockey News: Crosby’s Penguins Have Historical Edge, But Ovechkin Proving Himself Again One-On-One

NBC Sports: On Tom Wilson, Player Safety and avoiding suspension / Conn Smythe Power Rankings: Pastrnak the early leader (Alex Ovechkin mentioned) / Capitals’ Tom Wilson avoids suspension for hit on Brian Dumoulin

New York Times: Capitals’ Tom Wilson Tries to Shed Tough Guy Label for a New One: Go-To Guy

Sports Capitol: Capitals forward Tom Wilson avoids suspension, not the spotlight

Sports Illustrated: Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Lightning Rebound to Even Series; Karlsson Lifts Golden Knights in OT (Capitals mentioned)

SportsNet: Did Capitals expose a weakness in Penguins goalie Matt Murray? / NHL releases video to explain avoidable and unavoidable head contact (Tom Wilson mentioned)

STATS LLC: Penguins looking forward to Game 3 vs. Caps

TSN: Penguins D Letang on Wilson: 'We all know who he is'

TVA Sports: Nhl: Distinguishing The Impasse (Capitals mentioned) (Link in French)

WTOP: Capitals expected to deploy same lineup in Game 3 in Pittsburgh

WUSA 9: Nationals troll Penguins with Pirates in town

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Capitals Locker Room | April 30 / Barry Trotz | April 30 / All-Access | Everything We Got

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Who has the upper hand? / Caps-Pens Game 3: The rivalry heads to Pittsburgh

NHL Network: NHL Tonight: Pens-Caps preview / NHL Now: Capitals even the series

ESPN New York 98.7: Game Misconduct Podcast: Lou Lamoriello out as G.M. (Capitals mentioned)

Sports Capitol: Red Line: Capitals-Penguins Game 3 preview

SportsNet: Caps’ Wilson Working Hard To Outgrow His Reputation

TSN Edmonton 1260: McNally: Ovechkin provided response that Capitals needed

TSN Montreal 690: Fraser: Wilson hit was incidental / Raby: The big difference for the Caps

WNST: Ed Frankovic Talks Caps’ Big Game 2 Win And Previews Tuesday Night

WRC-TV NBC 4: Taped Hit Preview from Pittsburgh (4 a.m.) / Taped Hit Preview from Pittsburgh (5 a.m.)

WTTG-TV FOX 5: On the Capitals Game 3 Viewing Party at Yard House (5 a.m.)

WUSA-TV CBS 9: On the Capitals Game 3 Viewing Party at Yard House (9 a.m.) / On the Capitals Game 3 Viewing Party at Yard House (5 a.m.) / On the Capitals Game 3 Viewing Party at Yard House (6 a.m.)

Penguins Clips:

The Athletic: Evgeni Malkin, Brian Dumoulin, Carl Hagelin could all return to lineup soon

DK Pittsburgh Sports: Three keys for Penguins vs. Capitals in Game 3 / Secondary production a primary concern for Game 3 / Practice report: Dumoulin, Hagelin, Malkin take the ice / Capitals’ Wilson avoids punishment Penguins need to rediscover playoff scoring balance against Capitals / Malkin game-time decision for Penguins in Game 3 against Capitals

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Brian Dumoulin, Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin all practice; Game 3 status unclear / The Penguins' secondary scoring is quickly becoming a primary problem / The Penguins know they need a better start in Game 3 vs. Capitals

Trib Live: Injured Penguins Dumoulin, Malkin, Hagelin return to practice, will be game-time decisions / Veteran Matt Hunwick 'ready to go if needed' on Penguins' blue line / 'Legitimate possibility' Carl Hagelin returns for Penguins in Capitals series / Brian Dumoulin offers his take on Tom Wilson hit / Injured Dumoulin, Malkin, Hagelin participate in Penguins practice