Stanley Cup Playoffs: Day 20 Predictions

Chris BouthillierSenior Analyst IMay 4, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 02:  John Erskine #4 of the Washington Capitals pins Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins against the boards 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)

In a series full of All Stars, it was Capitals goaltender Simeon Varlamov who stole the show in game one with his incredible save on Sidney Crosby.

Tonight, the Penguins will look to steal a game in Washington to head home with a split.

Both games on Sunday featured their own hero. Todd Marchant scored in triple-overtime to lead the Ducks, 4-3, over the Red Wings, while the Canes' Cam Ward made 36 saves to shut out the Bruins to tie their series at one apiece.

On a personal note, I slipped yesterday going 0-for-2 on my picks. Not to worry, I'm still eight games above .500—for now.

Chris' record after Day 19: 28-20

Pittsburgh (4) @ Washington (2)—WSH leads 1-0

The score might not have been indicative of the game's momentum, but the Washington Capitals escaped with a win.

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Washington put forth a mediocre effort and still managed to cling to a 3-2 victory to put them ahead in the best-of-seven series. Simeon Varlamov was the story of the game but received a lot of help from Pittsburgh's porous power play performance.

Alex Ovechkin publicly said that his team needs to be better in order to win game two. The Caps didn't play their best hockey, and it showed as the Penguins controlled most of the game. Washington capitalized on their chances and edged Pittsburgh. 

There's no question that the Penguins will come out firing and try to establish the tone. Even though they have last change, Pens coach Dan Bylsma has to find a way to put Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice without having to face John Erskine on the Caps blueline.

Varlamov has only allowed more than two goals against in one outing. Pittsburgh has to create more opportunities to score and not be afraid to go to the high-traffic areas.

Game two winner: Pittsburgh


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