Monday, April 30, 2018
Morning Playoff Notes (Apr 30)
The Washington Capitals got off to another quick start on Sunday afternoon in Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the biggest difference between the opener and yesterday's game was that the Capitals were able to hold onto the lead and weather the storm from the Penguins, working their way to a 4-1 win to even the series at 1-1. It was a solid effort, from start to finish, using their speed and skill, not to mention a massive game from Braden Holtby, who made 32 saves, to get the win. It will take three more efforts like that, if the Capitals finally want to get over the hump and make it to the Conference Finals.
Lars Eller was the big hockey pool contributor in this one, picking up 3 assists in the victory. Not only did Holtby get the win, he also picked up an assist of his own, making it into a 3-point effort there too.
The heavyweight match in the Western Conference second round is not pulling any punches, as they'd rather keep throwing haymakers until the final bell sounds. 2-1 Winnipeg after one, 3-2 Nashville after two, 3-3, 4-3 Nashville, Winnipeg ties it up with 1:05 to go... and then overtime... and then double overtime... and Kevin Fiala gets the knockout punch inside of six minutes into the fifth frame to end it. What a game! Both goalies were busy, if not incredible at times, but Pekka Rinne was the busiest and the eventual victor, making 46 saves for the victory.
Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg each chimed in with 3 points, while Ryan Johansen and P.K. Subban had 2 points in the win, on top of Fiala and Rinne. In the loss, Mark Scheifele had 3 points and Dustin Byfuglien had 2 points. It was a well-rounded game for the hockey pool, if you had a good combination of both teams.
Neil is trying to keep pace with the twins, as his team only sits 6 points back of both Tony and Antonio, both teams sitting at 162 points after Sunday night. Stuart's team is 10 points back of the lead, which seems like a very outside shot at things, but it's certainly possible, if the right players get eliminated down the stretch.