#7 Pittsburgh Penguinsvs.#8 Washington Capitals
Wednesday, May 5 2017, at 7:30pm EDT
Written by David Hess
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals (Series Tied At 3-3)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Where: Verizon Center in Washington, D.C
Lines: Washington -170/ Pittsburgh +153
NHL hockey playoff action this seven as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will hookup in a game seven at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Penguins had a 3-1 lead in this series at one point, but the Caps fought back and tied it with a 5-2 win in Pittsburgh on Monday evening. The Over is 4-1 the last five meetings between these teams here in Washington.
The Pittsburgh Penguins took out the Washington Capitals last year in the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs and they had a chance to do so again as they had a 3-2 lead in the series and game six at home. Well, things don’t always go as planned and the Pens blew a big chance to move on as they lost 5-2. The Pens didn’t really wake up in the game until they scored their first goal with just 3:32 left in the game. They were down 5-0 at the time. The Pens still have a chance to move on, but it will be much tougher now as they are on the road and the Caps have momentum. Scoring for the Pens in the game six loss was Jake Guentzel, which was his 9th of the postseason and 25th of the year and Evgeni Malkin, which was his 5th of the postseason and 38th of the year.
Taking the loss in game six was Marc-Andre Fleury and he is now 7-4 with a 2.78 GAA and a .921 save percentage in the postseason this year so far, while in the postseason in his career he is now 60-49 with a 2.67 GAA and a .907 save percentage. During the regular season, the Penguins ranked 1st in the league in scoring at 3.39 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots taken (33.5 spg) and 3rd in power play conversions, converting on 23.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been a bit below average as they come in ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 2.79 gpg, while also ranking 27th in shots allowed (32.6) and 20th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.2% of their chances.
The Washington Capitals were down in this series 3-1 and it looked like they would repeat the same path they took last year and that was winning the President’s Cup, only to bow out in the 2nd round. The Caps have now won their last two games, including a 5-2 win in Pittsburgh on Monday and now they have a chance at closing out this series at home, where they have gone 35-12 on the year. Scoring for the Caps in the win was T.J. Oshie, which was his 4th of the playoffs and 37th of the year, Andre Burakovsky, who scored twice in the game and now has three in the postseason and 15 on the year, Nicklas Backstrom, which was his 6th of the playoffs and 29th of the year and John Carlson which was his 2nd of the postseason and 11th of the year.
Grabbing the game five win was Braden Holtby and he has now gone 7-5 with a 2.49 GAA and a .908 save percentage in the postseason so far this year, while in the postseason in his career he has now gone 29-29 with a 2.00 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The Capitals ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, during the regular season at 3.18 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots taken (30.4 spg) and 4th in power play conversions, converting on 23.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been very strong as they rank 1st in goals allowed, giving up 2.16 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots allowed (27.8) and 7th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.2% of their chances.
The Penguins had a chance to close out the series at home, but they couldn’t. Now they have to try and do so on the road and they have won two games here in this series, but the Caps are playing with a ton of momentum right now and they has still gone 35-12 at home for the year. The Caps have outscored Pittsburgh 9-4 in the last two games, so they are getting solid play at both ends of the ice, while a beat up Pens offense and a tiring Fleury seem to be running out of gas. Take the Caps to close out the series and get revenge for last year’s 2nd round loss.
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