Business picked up in a few ways in the second period. The Penguins got on the board early thanks to an Evgeni Malkin breakaway goal that beat Semyon Varlamov on the five hole. The crowd at Heinz Field went wild in celebration as the Penguins Russian star kicked off the offense.
The Caps wouldn’t be held off the board for long as Mike Knuble put home a loose puck in the crease that Marc-Andre Fleury couldn’t get a handle of just four minutes later.
If that sounds like trouble for Fleury, he wouldn’t learn from his mistake as he got caught scrambling once again. This time Eric Fehr took advantage of Fleury’s inability to control the puck and scored at 14:45 of the second to put the Caps ahead 2-1.
The period ended with a flurry of controversy for Pittsburgh, however. What was believed to be a tying goal by Sidney Crosby was waived off because Mike Rupp made incidental contact with Semyon Varlamov. Referees made the call immediately to waive it off sending the crowd into a chorus of boos.
They’d get a chance to boo more as the period came to an end when David Steckel caught Crosby with his head turned, crushing the Penguins captain and putting him down on the ice. Crosby was slow to get up but left the ice on his own power. Consider the stage set for an possibly explosive third period.
Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?