Postgame Notebook: Penguins 5, Capitals 3
House of Horrors –
After Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series, Washington is now 7-16 all-time in postseason games at Mellon Arena. The Caps are 1-5 in overtime contests played at the Igloo.
Since winning the first two games of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series against the Pens in Pittsburgh, the Capitals are 1-7 in postseason games played at Mellon Arena.
Game 4 –
The Caps are now 5-3 all-time in Game 4 against the Penguins.
Short Stuff –
Milan Jurcina’s shorthanded goal in the third period of Friday’s Game 4 was the first shorthanded strike of his NHL career in the regular season or the Stanley Cup playoffs.
and Boyd Gordon
assisted on Jurcina’s shorthanded goal. For both Bradley and Gordon, it was the second shorthanded point they’d collected in the postseason. Bradley scored Washington’s only other shorthanded goal of the playoffs in Game 5 of the opening round series against the Rangers, and Gordon earned one of the assists on that strike.
Washington’s power play went 0-for-4 on the night, and it managed just one shot on goal in the 7:10 it spent with the man advantage. The Caps had more shots on goal while shorthanded (three) than while on the power play. Of course, as is the norm for this series, Washington also spent more time being shorthanded (11:07) than it did on the power play.
Four Score –
For the first time in 10 playoff starts, Caps goaltender Simeon Varlamov was nicked for more than three goals in a game. Facing the fewest shots on goal (28) he had faced in the four games against the Pens, Varlamov gave up five goals.
On The Board –
Caps captain Chris Clark netted his first Stanley Cup playoff goal as a member of the Capitals when he hammered home a rebound of a Mike Green
shot. Clark’s previous goal in the playoffs came in 2004 when he was a member of the Calgary Flames.
Shot Shutdown –
The Capitals kept the Penguins from registering a shot on goal for more than 15 minutes at the end of the second period and in the early seconds of the third. Washington pulled within a goal on Clark’s tally during that stretch.
Pittsburgh also put the clamps down on the Capitals' attack at the worst possible time. Trailing by just one goal with 13 minutes remaining in the third period, Washington managed just three shots on goal the rest of the way. The Caps had two shots on goal in the game's final 10 minutes, and none after the Pens' Maxime Talbot scored at 14:46 to give Pittsburgh a 5-3 lead.
Two-Goal Lead –
When Pittsburgh’s Ruslan Fedotenko beat the Caps’ Simeon Varlamov with a wrister at 15:25 of the first period, it marked the first time in the series that the Pens enjoyed a lead of more than one goal.
Lead After Two –
Friday night’s Game 4 marked the first time in this series that the two teams weren’t tied heading into the final frame. Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead in to the third on Friday.
Down On The Farm –
Out in eastern Pennsylvania, the AHL Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hooked up in Game 4 of their East Division final series in the Calder Cup playoffs on Friday night.
As was the case in Pittsburgh, it didn’t go well for the visitors.
The homestanding Baby Pens jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead and tacked on another goal in the second before the Bears were able to get their own attack started. Grant McNeill scored his first of the playoffs with 1:02 remaining in the second period, Oskar Osala claiming the lone assist.
Steve Pinizzotto netted his second of the playoffs at 4:47 of the third with help from Chris Bourque and Dean Arsene to draw the Bears within a pair at 4-2. Hershey surrendered a goal before Graham Mink scored late in the third to make it 5-3. The Baby Pens added an empty-netter for a 6-3 final, evening their best-of-seven set with the Bears at 2-2.
Game 5 between the Bears and the Baby Pens takes place on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays open their American Conference final series with the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
|Three star selections