Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins-Capitals: Pittsburgh Breaks the Trend, Goes Down 2-0

WASHINGTON - MAY 02:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals battles Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 2, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington,  DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Kevin AlquistContributor IMay 5, 2009

If only the Penguins could follow the trend.

Chicago tied up the series with Vancouver.

Anaheim battled into triple OT to tie the Wings.

Cam Ward shut out the Bruins to lead the Canes to a win in game two.

The Pens certainly battled. They wanted a series tie just as much as the Capitals wanted the security of going to Pittsburgh with two games in hand.

The biggest difference was goal-tending. Marc-Andre Fleury has played worse games—much worse. But Simeon Varlamov is riding a hot hand, and is the reason the Capitals are up two games to none.

Did anybody notice that all three of Alex Ovechkin's goals were put in the same spot? Two were to the right of Fleury, one to the left. All of them just over Fleury as he went down to his knees. Marc-Andre, I ask you, how did you not see the last one coming?

I lay some of the blame on Sergei Gonchar, who should have played more aggressive defense on a hot handed Ovechkin.

Of course, all three of Alexander The Great's goals were beautiful. He has a rifle of a shot.

I don't want to take the credit away from him, but Sidney Crosby should have tied that game with his third goal. Just before Ovechkin's second goal there was an obvious trip by Alexander Semin on Matt Cooke right after the face-off.

I hate say how a game would have turned out if the refs would have made that obvious call. I even missed it until I saw the replay. But those are the kind of things that need to be called.

Hockey is a rough sport, things happen, and not everything should be called. But that was intentional retaliation by Semin—something that Capitals should have paid for.

Enough about that. That is just the way the dice rolls sometimes.

The Penguins have played well enough to win both of those hockey games. Home ice will be refreshing, and with a strong effort, and a bit of luck, the Penguins have what it takes to tie up this series.

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