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13.04.2019 03:34
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PITTSBURGH (AP) There was no dogpile in the dressing room. No champagne celebration. Not even a beer. Nothing.The Washington Capitals have been here before. Many times Youth Mikko Koivu Jersey , actually. It’s not that they don’t appreciate winning Metropolitan Division title after Metropolitan Division title like the one they wrapped up with a 3-1 victory over rival Pittsburgh on Sunday night.It’s just that they’re tired of division banners being the only ones raised to the rafters.Still, star Alex Ovechkin knows not all playoff runs are created equal. The group that skated off the ice at PPG Paints Arena after keeping the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in check for three taut and occasionally chippy periods is not the juggernaut that rolled into postseason in 2016 and 2017 only to be sent home in the second round by Pittsburgh.”We lost lots of players,” Ovechkin said after playing in his 1,000th career regular season game. ”Guys in the locker room, experience guys. But different guys step up and they play different. … We play as a team.”One that hopes following a familiar script will lead – at last – to an unfamiliar ending.Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves to continue his push to supplant Braden Holtby as Washington’s top goaltender as the Capitals won for the 10th time in 12 games to assure themselves of home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs.”We had a challenge there from the beginning (of the season) on,” Grubauer said. ”We lost a couple experienced guys. We learned from our mistakes and we’re still learning. It’s nice to wrap that up, for sure.”T.J. Oshie, Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson scored for Washington and Grubauer did the rest, including a spectacular glove save on Penguins star Sidney Crosby in the third period that served as an exclamation point on the kind of performance that would fit right in over the next two months.”Last couple games we played in here weren’t too good, so it’s a momentum builder for us Ryan Suter Jersey ,” Grubauer said. ”We have to make sure we play the right way next couple games. It’s going to be huge.”The Penguins have the top power play in the league but went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. Patric Hornqvist picked up his 27th of the season late in the third period to avoid a shutout. Matt Murray stopped 31 shots but couldn’t quite match Grubauer.”I thought that’s probably as good as our power play has looked the last month, we just didn’t score,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.A night after earning a playoff berth for a franchise-record 12th straight year, the Penguins lost at home in regulation for just the second time since Jan. 4 to end a late push for a division crown. Not that it matters much to Pittsburgh. The Penguins have ended each of the last two regular seasons as the division runner-up to Washington. And each time the Penguins have used a second-round playoff series victory over the Capitals as a springboard to the Stanley Cup.”We never win division,” Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin said. ”It’s not first time. It’s not surprise. We’re fine.”Ovechkin called becoming just the 57th player in NHL history to play at least 1,000 games for one team ”a milestone” but didn’t exactly get caught up in the moment. The 32-year-old knows his career has been equally defined by his 603 goals and his team’s inability to make a deep playoff run.Despite seven division titles and nine playoff appearances since he made his debut in 2005, Ovechkin has never played on a team that reached the Eastern Conference finals. Postseason success is the only thing that’s eluded him, but Washington appears to be peaking behind Grubauer.Washington coach Barry Trotz opted to give Grubauer his first career start against Pittsburgh and Grubauer responded brilliantly. He was at his best in the second period, when the Penguins’ lethal power play had four chances to draw even and came up empty each time, including an extended two-man advantage in which Grubauer received a little help from the crossbar when a shot from Malkin clanged off the crossbar.The lucky bounce preserved a 1-0 lead. Orlov pumped in his career-high 10th just after a Pittsburgh power-play expired later in the period Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey Womens , firing a shot from the slot that went between the legs of Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta and over Murray’s right arm.When Tom Wilson redirected Matt Niskanen’s shot from the point by Murray 23 seconds into the third period the Capitals had another division title wrapped up but not bragging rights. That will have to come later.NOTES: Washington went 0 for 4 on the power play. … Malkin was given a 10-minute misconduct with 1:01 left in regulation after mixing it up with Oshie. … Penguins C Derick Brassard missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … Pittsburgh is 9-7-2 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.UP NEXTCapitals: Visit St. Louis on Monday. Washington beat the Blues 4-3 on Jan. 7.Penguins: Get three days off before finishing regular season with a back-to-back starting on Thursday in Columbus.— PITTSBURGH (AP) — Clock ticking down on both the game and in some ways their season, the Philadelphia Flyers summoned some more late magic to stun the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again.James van Riemsdyk scored with 18 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Sean Couturier finished off a dazzling rush to beat Matt Murray with 3 seconds remaining in the extra period as Philadelphia capped an improbable comeback with a 2-1 victory on Sunday night.The Flyers kept their fading postseason hopes alive by again surging past the Penguins for the second time in a month.Three weeks ago it was two goals in the final 3:04 to force overtime before Claude Giroux’s winner with 1:59 to go in the 3-on-3. This time the deficit wasn’t quite as deep but time was far shorter when van Riemsdyk took a pass from Travis Konecny in the slot and ripped one by Matt Murray’s outstretched glove to push it beyond regulation.“No lead is ever safe, it seems like,” van Riemsdyk said.Not of late, at least when the Penguins are on the other side of the ice. The two teams took turns testing Murray and Philadelphia rookie goaltender Carter Hart in overtime and appeared headed for a shootout before Couturier banked a pass off the sideboard to himself, raced around Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby then fired a shot from low in the right circle under Murray’s right arm and into the net for his 29th and perhaps most important goal of the season.The win marked the first time in NHL history a team beat the same opponent multiple times in a season in games where they scored a tying goal in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Philadelphia moved within six points of Columbus for the Eastern Conference’s second wild card with nine games to go in the regular season. Odds are slim, but they would have been all but gone if van Riemsdyk hadn’t found room in the middle of the Pittsburgh zone.“If we don’t win tonight, that’s a huge hole,” Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon said. “We’re definitely running out of time. It was a game that we definitely needed the two points and got a lot of big performances in the end there.”Teddy Blueger, starting on the second line in place of injured Evgeni Malkin Womens Zach Parise Jersey , scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal as the Penguins managed just one point out of a pair of home games during the weekend.Pittsburgh’s stretch run might not include Malkin, who head coach Mike Sullivan said is “week to week” with an upper-body injury. Malkin collided with St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo in a loss to the Blues on Saturday. He remained in the game and played more than 19 minutes but just over 24 hours later his familiar No. 71 was nowhere to be found.“He’s a tough guy to replace, he’s an elite player, that speaks for itself,” Sullivan said. “We’ll take it game to game and see how it goes.”Murray, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots against the Blues, bounced back by making 36 saves but faltered late, as did the play in front of him.“It’s tough,” Murray said. “Every point is valuable. It stings for sure.”Facing Pittsburgh for the first time in his career, the 20-year-old Hart was spectacular. He turned away 41 shots — including several opportunities from in close — to win for the first time since returning from an upper-body injury that sidelined him from Feb. 23-March 11.“For us to come back like that in the third period Andrew Shaw Jersey , it feels like we’ve almost done it in every game against these guys,” Hart said.The Flyers appeared to take the lead 1:06 into the second period when Giroux’s wrist shot from the right circle got through Murray. The on-ice officials, however, immediately waved it off, ruling Jakub Voracek interfered with Murray as he skated by the crease as the shot closed in. The Flyers challenged the call, and it was overturned by replay officials. Pittsburgh then challenged the goal on the grounds that Voracek was offsides when the play entered the zone. The call was then overturned a second time, leaving the game scoreless.Got it?Goal or no goal, it was one of the few times the Flyers truly tested Murray through the first two periods. The Penguins tilted the ice heavily at times, swarming Hart with extended pressure. Finishing, however http://www.officialcanadiensprostore.com/authentic-adidas-antti-niemi-jersey , was another matter. If Pittsburgh wasn’t shooting wide — as Nick Bjugstad did on a breakaway in the second period — then Hart was making an indelible first impression in one of the NHL’s most testy rivalries.“”He was great,” Couturier said of Hart. “That’s what you want from your goalie…We had to step up for him.”NOTES: Kessel playing in his 319th consecutive game with Pittsburgh, tying Craig Adams’ franchise record. Kessel has played in 765 straight games overall, the eighth-longest in NHL history. … Pittsburgh’s successful replay challenge marked the 8th time in 14 tries the Penguins have won a challenge this season. … The Flyers were 0 for 3 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 4.UP NEXTFlyers: Host Montreal on Tuesday.Penguins: Begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday in Carolina.

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