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NHL Playoffs: 3 Key Takeaways for the Washington Capitals Following Game 1

Keegan McNallyCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2012

NHL Playoffs: 3 Key Takeaways for the Washington Capitals Following Game 1

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    On Thursday the Capitals faced off against the Boston Bruins in what turned out to be a classic, old-time hockey match. 

    In what some fair-weather hockey fans would call a boring match, the Bruins emerged victorious in a quick overtime by a score of 1-0. 

    However, if this game is any indication of what is to come between these two teams, fans can expect a close-fought and hard-hitting series with tons of thrills.

    For the Capitals, it ended in a bitter defeat at the hands of Chris Kelly in overtime. However, it was not all bad for the Capitals, and there are definitely some key takeaways for Game 2. 

Braden Holtby Can Be a Force in Net

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    When Braden Holtby gets hot, people should take notice. 

    Although he let in a semi-soft goal on a wicked slap-shot by Chris Kelly in overtime, Holtby stood on his head through a tough first period and an absolutely brutal second period. 

    Holtby stopped 29 shots on the night and earned himself the second star of the night. That's not to bad considering he is a 22-year-old rookie goaltender playing in his first ever NHL playoff game. 

    He's a raw talent at this point, but if Holtby can continually stonewall the Bruins (on home ice to boot), the Capitals definitely have a chance at stealing the series away from Boston. 

Alex Ovechkin Needs to Continue to Hit

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    The Bruins had one simple mindset on defense: contain Alex Ovechkin.

    The whole night the big two for Boston, Chara and Seidenberg, were lined up with Ovechkin each and every time he was on the ice.

    It led to only one legitimate scoring chance for Ovechkin, which turned into a brilliant blocker save from Tim Thomas.

    However, the real storyline was the amount Alex through his body around on the ice. 

    Ovechkin took run after run toward Zdeno Chara and other Bruins defensemen. This proved very effective in disrupting the Bruins, especially in the third period. 

    For the Capitals to be successful, there has to be some offense produced from the second and third lines. Ovechkin, however, is fine with laying the lumber and is doing his part offensively, as he is handcuffed by Big Z and Seidenberg. 

There's Something Wrong with Mike Green

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    There's something seriously wrong with Mike Green.

    The Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman that the Capitals grew to love from a couple of seasons ago is no more. 

    Mike Green registered zero shots on net against the Bruins on Thursday and, frankly, looked lost at times.

    He fumbled the puck, missed the net or shot it into skates more often than not. 

    Coming off of multiple injuries, it is expected that Green would be a little rusty, but now it seems like injuries are still nagging him.

    It is possible that concussion related symptoms are still plaguing him, or maybe other physical injuries are hampering his abilities on the ice.

    At this point in the playoffs, Mike Green either needs to shape up and start providing some offense, or he should be the first on the bench for the Capitals. 

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