The capitals will try to break the scary third phase of Game 1
Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Washington Capitals
Series: Pittsburgh Leads, 1-0
3pm (Toni L. Sandy's / The Washington Post) ET, Capital One Arena
• Can Caps the top line of Pens slow it down? ( Read More)
• Evgeni Malkin will miss Game 2. (Read more)
• Jake Guentzel has been masterful in his last two playoff games. Can he keep his hot goal in Game 2? (Read more)
• The defense of the capitals has developed since the beginning of the season. [Read More]
Capitals lose out when they want to turn it around: After decompressing the Capitals for two days after beating Pittsburgh in Game 1 on Thursday night, the ice took over for warmups before game 2 on Sunday afternoon – and looked completely relaxed. Alex Ovechkin nodded to the music of the arena. T.J. Oshie did his usual routine of hitting the back of each player with his stick. And John Carlson threw a big smile through the glass to his young son in the first row of stalls.
On the other end, Pittsburgh was greeted by a large contingent of their own fans in black and yellow uniforms; There are noticeably more penguin fans present than on Thursday night.
Is Evgeni Malkin's Absence Important ?: Malkin is out again, which means Dominik Simon and Riley Sheahan will join Phil Kessel in the second row. These three played well in Game 1 even though they were not on the ice to score. The Penguins trio had 14 shots and 10 chances to score in 11 minutes, with four of those hits in the slot or in the fold.
Pens' top spot is en fuego: Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and Washinton's top line of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Wilson have to find a way to match the performance of Pittsburgh's top line from Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel brake.
The Penguins have two of their three goals shot pucks distracted from the net. At the first goal, defender Justin Schultz put a puck into the net despite a diving Alex Ovechkin that diverted Patric Hornqvist past Holtby. Minutes later, Sidney Crosby sent a puck in the direction of Washington's net, where Jake Guentzel settled into the game-winning goal. Crosby's line ran only two minutes and ten seconds against the Backstroem line of the Capitals in Game 1, but they scored one goal plus three scoring chances in that range.
Pittsburgh is overall good at creating and converting high-end. Quality recordings. It scored 36 of its 270 goals of taps and deflections during the regular 2017-18 season and five in the postseason – only the Bruins have more "dirty goals" (six) during the 2018 playoffs.
Malkin out: Evgeni Malkin will not play in Game 2 on Sunday, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said during his press conference. It seemed like Malkin would be ready after training with a full-contact jersey on Saturday. This was the first time he had made it in more than a week after suffering an unknown lower-body injury in the first round of the series against Philadelphia. Malkin has now missed two games – the victory in Game 6 against the Flyers and the victory on Thursday against the capitals. Also for the penguins is Carl Hagelin, who has suffered a torn ankle in Game 6 against the Flyers and has not traveled to Washington for the Games 1 and 2 against Washington.
"We are a better team than [Malkin] is in our lineup, which is an obvious statement, and after saying that I do not think our team is looking for any excuses, I think we're trying Sullivan said on Sunday before Game 2. "It's a next-man-up setting, we have capable people in our lineup, it offers opportunities for others to play a more important role and you want those opportunities That's what our players look like, that's what our team sees it and today we'll be providing our best lineup on the ice and we'll try to win. "
Matchups: Capitals Coach Barry's defiance seemed quite content with that how the matchups went in the first game. He went with Power vs. Power, Evgeny Kuznetsov's top-line against Sidney Crosby. Washington scored the first two goals, but then Pittsburgh scored the next three to win the game.
"Well, they probably could have had three before they scored the first goal," said defender Matt Niskanen, who was commissioned to play against the top trio of penguins. "I think we got a lot of attention in two seasons and even on the goals, at least the first two, we had pretty good coverage, so I'm not going to analyze it, I do not think a big adjustment needs to be made. You just have to get over them because they're good. "
said defiance:" Both sides got a lot, I even turned it to the third goal they were against [Nicklas Backstrom’s] line. if you look at it analytically, it was not bad, but at the same time, only what's on the board is the big scoreboard – at that point, Kuzy's and Sid's lines were even two each. "I do not think I'm on any They have two good lines, we have two good lines and that's what we started with, we did it with Columbus and we went halfway through and we can do the same. "
Two hole: The Capitals can not afford to lose this game and fall into another 2-0 hole. It is unlikely that they will come out when you see Pittsburgh's impressive playoff history with two games without defeat.
Players to Consider
Tom Wilson: The caps require Wilson to continue To influence this series with its reputable physicality, but they could also use an offensive awakening from the First-Liner. He had some templates in Game 1, which was a promising start. "He's a good player," said Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan. "The capitals are a tough team to play against, they are a competitive team, we've had a history of fierce fighting with them since I coached the penguins, they're a good hockey team."
Jake Guentzel : As long as the 23-year-old second division player continues his scoreless pace, he scored seven goals in seven games in as many games and eight points in the premier class. The last two games alone, including the game that scores the crucial goal in Game 1 – The penguins will be hard to beat. Pittsburgh may already be better than Washington, with star center Evgeni Malkin – he will miss Game 2 with a lower body injury, but could be prepared for Match 3 on Tuesday – but Guentzel has proven himself alongside Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.  Postgame Reading
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Washington's expected lineup:
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson-Nicklas Backstrom-TJ Oshie
Brett Connolly-Lars Eller-Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana-Jay Beagle-Alex Chiasson
Scratch: Andre Burakovsky (upper body), Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd, Brian Pinho, Nathan Walker  Defender
Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny-John Carlson
Brooks Orpik-Christian Djoos
Scratches: Jakub Jerabek, Madison Bowey
Braden Holtby (starter)
Scratch: Pheonix Copley
Pittsburgh's expected lineup:
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Patric Hornqvist
Dominik Simon-Riley Sheahan-Phil Kessel
Conor Sheary-Derick Brassard-Bryan Rust
Zach Aston-Reese-Carter Rowney-Tom Kuhnhackl
Scratches: Evgeni Malkin (lower body injury), Carl Hagelin (upper body injury)
Olli Maatta-Justin Schultz
Jamie Oleksiak-Chad Ruhwedel
Scratch: Matt Hunwick
Matt Murray (starter)