Braden Holtby spun around and saw the puck on the goal line. Maybe it was in. Maybe it wasn’t.
But after mounting another two-goal lead and this time building on it instead of blowing it Cheap Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys , the Washington Capitals made sure it wasn’t close enough for one questionable call either way to make a difference. With fresh memories of coughing up that same lead in Game 1, this time they took it to the Pittsburgh Penguins and emerged with a 4-1 victory in Game 2 to tie the second-round series.
”You can see what happen last game when we get the lead 2-0 and they come back and win the game,” said Alex Ovechkin, who scored his seventh goal of the playoffs. ”They’re experienced team, they’re not going to give up and they’re not gonna give easy play for us. We have to earn it. Today I think we play a solid game, everybody was in and we get the result.”
It was a result that came with controversy and a potentially significant aftermath as the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion-Penguins came out on the wrong side of a coach’s challenge, the NHL’s video review on what would have been their second goal and lost defenseman Brian Dumoulin after a hit to the head by Tom Wilson.
Holtby stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced to frustrate the Penguins, robbing captain Sidney Crosby and linemate Jake Guentzel with sliding pad saves to continue his strong play in the postseason.
The Penguins thought he should’ve allowed one more goal to Patric Hornqvist in the third period. No definitive replays showing the puck over the goal line and Wilson’s hit that injured Dumoulin left them steaming but also kicking themselves for starting slow and falling behind again.
”They won the game in the first period Cheap Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys ,” Hornqvist said. ”I don’t think we played our best game. … They were all over us.”
After blowing three two-goal leads through the first seven games of the playoffs, Washington at least temporarily solved that problem. Ovechkin beat Matt Murray 1:26 in, Jakub Vrana scored on the power play later in the first period and, unlike Game 1, the Capitals made it 3-0 when Brett Connolly scored on a breakaway early in the second.
”Game 1 it was tough, we played a really good game I think and they just kind of found a way to get some breaks and score some timely goals,” Connolly said. ”We learned from that this time around.”
The Capitals are learning some about Murray, having now scored all five of their goals against him in this series glove side. He made 18 of his 28 saves in the first period and had to in order to keep Washington from turning this into a blowout.
Murray was not the least bit happy when the league ruled Connolly’s push on him moments before Vrana’s goal was not enough to keep him from being able to make the save.
”Pretty disappointed http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-anthony-miller-jersey ,” Murray said. ”As a goalie you just want to be able to do your job and when something like that happens and you can’t do it, you just want to see the rule upheld.”
Pittsburgh had an even bigger reason to be angry when Wilson wasn’t penalized for checking Dumoulin in the head with his left shoulder in the second. Dumoulin never returned, could potentially miss Game 3 on Tuesday and Wilson is in danger of being suspended.
”He made contact with his head,” Crosby said. ”Given his history and things like that, I’m sure the league will take a good look at it.”
Wilson watched multiple replays and came away believing there was nothing else he could do on the play because Dumoulin stopped and braced for a hit from Ovechkin at the last second. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he had an opinion of the hit but declined to share it.
Wilson was already ready to move on.
”It’s a bit of an unfortunate play that he got hurt,” he said. ”We’ll see what happens and we’ll keep moving forward here. There’s more important things going on. We’ve got a team in here that’s pretty good and confident and we’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and get a game.”
NOTES: The Capitals have now killed 22 consecutive penalties dating to Game 2 of their first-round series against Columbus. … Kris Letang scored Pittsburgh’s only goal on a floater from the point in the second period. … The Penguins were without star center Evgeni Malkin for the third consecutive game because of an apparent leg injury. Sullivan said Malkin could return for Game 3. … Ovechkin tied Crosby and Guentzel for the playoff lead in goals. … The Penguins’ streak of road playoff victories ended at six.
The New England Patriots were thrilled to have a five-time champion with them at practice this week.
Not Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant.
With their quarterback skipping organized team activities along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots returned to Gillette Stadium for offseason workouts this week. After Bryant visited the team on Wednesday Authentic Mike Hughes Jersey , several New England players noted the similarities between him and Brady.
”They’re both highly competitive guys,” defensive back Devin McCourty said Thursday. ”I think everybody sees that.”
Although the Patriots wouldn’t elaborate on what Bryant said to them, McCourty came away impressed with his attention to detail with everything involved in basketball – not just shooting, but practice and working out and his relationship with his teammates.
Several Patriots posted pictures of themselves with Bryant on social media on Wednesday. Belichick said he has a lot of respect for the 2008 NBA MVP and thought his team could learn from meeting him.
”It was a cool experience,” running back James White said. ”It’s an honor to meet a guy who’s one of the greatest athletes of all time.”
Of course, White knows another guy like that.
But Brady has reportedly been working out with his personal trainer instead of with his teammates. A three-time NFL MVP who will turn 41 in August, Brady is said to be upset with coach Bill Belichick over his attempts to speed up the succession plan at quarterback and move Jimmy Garoppolo into the starting job before Brady was ready to give it up.
Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers midseason, reportedly on a mandate from owner Robert Kraft.
”(No.) 12 is a big part of this team John Ross Jersey , and he means a lot to us in the locker room. But as far as the culture goes, it’s always been `next man up,”’ linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. ”We’re not going to work harder just because 12’s not here or because Gronk’s not here. … Whenever he gets back, we’ll be glad to have them both, but it’s not going to stop us from working.”