After coming off a 4-2 series win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League playoffs, the second round pits the Capitals against the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins won its first round series 4-1 against the New York Rangers.
The Capitals played Game 1 at the Verizon Center Thursday, April 28, and it was a back-and-forth game. Thirteen seconds after the first intermission, the game was 1-0 Capitals, thanks to wing André Burakovsky. Then Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy scored halfway into the second period. Next, Penguin center Evgeni Malkin scored at 11:37 in the second period. The tide seemed to have changed, but right wing T.J Oshie evened the score at 12:10.
The second period ended 2-2, however Oshie wasn’t done yet. He scored to pull the Caps ahead at 3:23 in the third. The Caps had the lead back but it didn’t last long with Penguin center Nick Bonino tying the game up. The game reached the end of regulation and headed into overtime.
As the overtime neared the halfway point, Oshie was on the right side of Penguin goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with possession of the puck. Oshie transitioned from one side of the goal behind the goalie and scored in the lower left section at 9:33. Oshie’s hat trick won the Game 1 of the Stanley Cup second round series.
Moving forward, fans hope the Caps keep that winning momentum. However, heading into Game 2, Alex Ovechkin, who is at the top of the “goals scored” leaderboard, has not scored since April 18 in Game 3 of the first round. Fans hope he can get back into his groove as the next game is Saturday, April 30, 8 p.m., at the Verizon Center.