3:32 PM: Well, the Caps win this one, 3-2, but the Pens will be back on Monday to bring it to the Caps. The Pens outshot the Caps, 36-26, in the game.
3:30 PM: The Pens pull Fleury for the last minute of play.
3:09 PM: The Penguins are down by a goal, but they are getting shots off and are playing the Caps hard. With over 12 minutes left in the game, a lot could still happen. Shots so far in the third period favor the Pens, 4-1.
2:59 PM: The Caps take an early lead in the period. Fleischmann found room in front of the net where he pounded a shot over Fleury's leg pad for the point. Capitals 3, Penguins 2.
2:55 PM: The third frame begins. Shots were tied, 12-12, in the last period, and play was pretty back and forth between the teams, so this third period promises to be a good one.
2:39 PM: That concludes the second period.
2:36 PM: Varlamov makes a spectacular save to keep the Penguins from taking the lead. Kunitz passed the puck through the crease to Crosby who tapped it into the seemingly empty cage but Varlamov managed to just get his stick on it to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.
2:26 PM: Mark Eaton scores a goal to tie the score at 2-2! Malkin dished the puck up the near half wall to Eaton at the point. Eaton steadied the puck and took a shot which eluded Varlamov. Penguins 2, Capitals 2.
2:21 PM: Max Talbot headed to the dressing room favoring his arm after taking a faceoff a moment ago but he is already back on the bench.
2:17 PM: Eaton gets a great scoring chance from below the near circle, but Varlamov makes the save.
2:14 PM: The Penguins look like they are finding their momentum now in the second period as they get a power play chance. Fleury is playing really strong in this period and has already turned away five shots.
2:02 PM: The Penguins open the second period on the power play.
1:45 PM: What a great period of hockey. The first period concludes with the Pens outshooting the Caps, 11-8. No doubt, both teams will come out hard in the second period.
1:38 PM: The Caps get a five-on-three advantage and they convert on the opportunity. Ovechkin scoops in a slap pass from Semin. Capitals 2, Penguins 1.
1:31 PM: The Caps manage to tie the score at 1-1. Steckel was able to lift a rebound between Fleury's pads for the goal. Penguins 1, Capitals 1.
1:21 PM: We're almost half way through the first period and the Caps have technically not tallied a shot on goal yet. The Pens have tallied six shots so far.
1:14 PM: Crosby scores the first goal of the game and of the series! Guerin dished the puck out to Crosby in the neutral zone. Crosby skated it down the slot, split the defense and flipped it past Varlamov for the point. Penguins 1, Capitals 0.
1:09 PM: Well, here we go. The puck is finally dropping for this much anticipated playoff series.
The Penguins scratched Miroslav Satan, meaning Petr Sykora is back in the lineup for Pittsburgh. Also, Philippe Boucher and Eric Godard will not dress for the Penguins. The Capitals scratched defenseman Jeff Shultz and forwards Donald Brashear (suspension) and Michael Nylander.
Also, check out this piece by Mike Prisuta
in today's Trib on the history of the Pens-Caps playoff rivalry. It's pretty spot on. 12:50 PM:
Here are a couple of good articles from NHL.com today. One on Guerin enjoying
playing with Sidney Crosby
(who wouldn't?) and a good piece on Gonchar seeing both sides
of the Pens-Caps rivalry. 12:46 PM:
Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Mike Green were the last Capitals on the ice for warm ups. For the Penguins, Craig Adams
, Jordan Staal
, Evgeni Malkin
, Kris Letang
and Marc-Andre Fleury
were still warming up when the horn sounded.12:35 PM:
The Penguins and Capitals are warming up and we're about 30 minutes away from the start of Game 1 of the most hyped second-round playoff series of all time. Capitals fans are making their way into the arena now with their red shirts/jerseys. There will no doubt be a "sea of red" when the puck drops.