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Capitals look to continue road success in Game 3

Washington had second-best record away from home during regular season

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Washington Capitals finished with a 27-10-4 record away from Verizon Center during the regular season, the second-best road record in the NHL behind the San Jose Sharks. They've also won two of three road games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Monday (8 p.m ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), they'll try to draw on that experience.

"We just have to go out and play our game like have all year," Capitals forward Marcus Johansson said. "Have a little bit better start and stay out of the box and I think we'll have a good night."

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1. In Game 2 at Verizon Center on Saturday, Pittsburgh won 2-1 on a late third-period goal by forward Eric Fehr.

Playing away from home will force the Capitals to get back to basics and potentially reduce mistakes including penalties and turnovers, which could give them an edge on the Penguins.

"It will be a good thing to be on the road, play a simple style," goalie Braden Holtby said after Game 2. "The road kind of does that to you."

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm2: Fehr deflects it past Holtby for lead

In Game 2, Washington had a slow start that led to 10 shots on goal through two periods. The Capitals started pressing harder in the third period and were able to tie the game.

Pittsburgh came out with intensity at the start of Games 1 and 2 and Washington wants to match that on Monday. Forward Daniel Winnik said that's an advantage of being the road team.

"I mean it's 1-1 and beyond that, I think we're pretty evenly matched teams," Winnik said. "You've got two good goaltenders, you've got four solid lines and you've got a good 'D' core. It's just a matter of who scores on their scoring chances. I think that's been proven the first two games."

So far, Washington has gotten the better of the forward matchups at home, going top-line for top-line. Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby each remain scoreless. But the Capitals may have to work a little harder on the road to be on top of the matchups.

Coach Barry Trotz may opt to shake up the forward lines to spur some offensive production but shouldn't need to do too much.

"The advantage every team has at home is the matchup," Winnik said. "I'm sure they're going to try to get the matchups they want. Who knows if they're going to be the same one as the ones we wanted, but that's the challenge playing on the road is sometimes guys get put in situations that they're not at home. I think it gives us, personally, a challenge for guys to step up and play different roles."

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