Pittsburgh (0-1) at Washington (1-0)
When: Saturday, April 30th 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC
The Washington Capitals will look to take a 2-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their best-of-seven series when the teams meet in Game 2 on Saturday. Washington’s T.J. Oshie completed the hat-trick with an overtime winner in Game 1 as the Capitals held home-ice. The slow pace of the first-round series with Philadelphia was cranked up several notches in Game 1, with Oshie’s wraparound goal 9:33 into overtime standing up as the winner despite a lengthy review. Alex Ovechkin managed just an assist in the game, but had a +3 rating. Goalie Braden Holtby’s workload received quite the uptick as the Vezina Trophy finalist saw 45 shots come his way on Thursday after facing just 36 in the final two contests versus the Flyers. Washington failed on all four power-play opportunities after scoring eight on the man-advantage in the first round.
Sidney Crosby was held off the scoresheet in Game 1 and had a -3 rating, but he is capable of a break-out game at any time. He scored a hat-trick in Game 2 of their playoff series with Washington back in 2009 – part of his eight goals in that series. Rookie goaltender Matt Murray allowed four goals on 35 shots, matching the number he surrendered on 89 shots en route to winning the final three contests to eliminate the New York Rangers in the first round. Nick Bonino scored and set up a goal in Game 1, lifting his point total to seven (one goal, six assists) in the 2016 playoffs. Pittsburgh went 0-for-2 on the man advantage in Game 1 after scoring eight in the first round – like Washington.
I still think this will be a long series and the home team will not win every game. This is a good spot for the Penguins as long as Murray stays solid. I’ll take the Pens tonight.
Pick: Penguins +110