Here we go… the first of EIGHT games in this storied rivalry. Caps vs Pens. Ovi vs Sid. DC vs Shittsburgh. Apologies, I should say good morning first, how rude of me. Good morning loyal Chirpin’ DMV fans, we’re glad you’re here. I sure hope you’re firing it up today and having a lil Sunday Funday for this one. We all know how the Caps have started, 2-0 with two wins in Buffalo, 6-4 and 2-1led by 3points each by Oshie and Backstrom. The Pens on the other hand are 0-2 after getting pumped by the flyers 6-3 and 5-2. Goaltending has been the issue so far in the super super super early go for PITT, and that could be good news as i’m officially declaring the main storyline of the game to be that OVI HASN’T SCORED YET, and if he doesn’t today? We officially put Lavs on the hot seat.
We got a lineup change!!! And only one, as Sprong now slots into that 3rd line RW spot in place of Sheary. I’d imagine this is what we’ll be seeing a lot of this year knowing that Sprong was taking a ton of reps in that spot during training camp. Excited to see what he can do for sure, and it’s not like Sheary was awful, but it’s early and uncle Pete want’s to see what works and what doesn’t. Sammy saves back in net as he looks to stay scorching hot on the road in his career.
Here’s a fun one. Can the snake strike again?? Will we see rare history (for the first time in like, a year) with Vrana kicking off the campaign with three straight tucks?! I mean it’d be nice, it’s nice whenever anyone scores a goal for us tbh. Maybe an insanely hot season in the goal column will actually help him contribute in the playoffs? You know, cause the whole 3 goals in 38 career playoff games is NOT ideal out of your 2nd line LW.
Last pregame storyline here before we get into the game breakdown. The Caps are looking to rip off their first 3-0 start since 11-12′ when they started the season 7-0-0 beating CAR, TBL, PIT in the 3rd game (okay I see what’s happening here) then OTT, FLA, PHI, and DET. PITT on the other hand is looking to avoid that 0-3 start like they had in 15-16′ losing too DAL, AZ, and MTL, in which they then went on to rip off three wins in a row after that and you know, win the cup that year. IDK what it is, but I feel like this season might be it, it MIGHT just be the downfall of the Pens. Imagine a season where they just get shit kicked up and down the ice all season by the division, finish like 6th or 7th. Would be a thing of beauty if you ask me…
Noon game, off an runnin’ get the juices flowing early anddddd Pens tuck one 19 seconds in. Evan Rodrigues (another random NHL’er who nobody knows until he skates with Crosby and puts up 50 points) redirects a puck from Dumoulin off the skate and through Sammys wickets and it’s an early 1-0 lead for the Pens. God damn I hate noon games.
But hey, the boys just had to wake up a bit ya know? I’ve been a big fan of the 4th line grind since last season. Always have been, always will be, and thats just what the Caps got this morning to tie the game at 1-1 as Dowd SNIPES one (lol) after a killer shift by L4 hemming the Pens in their zone for a good min plus. It took a min to review but was deemed a good goal as it finally crossed the line and we’re tied. Now Dowd, care to bring your podcasting skills onto a Chirpin’ DMV, Between Two Blue Lines crossover episode?
Two min later, the hockey gods shined down on us as the goat, the one and only, Alex Ovechkin gets his first of the season cleaning up a rebound off a Kuzy shot and burying the puck to put the Caps up 2-1 and THANK JESUS HE’S ON THE BOARD. #707 and here’s who you gotta thank: Tom Wilson. Tommy has been SO GOOD in the transition game in the early go this season. The two he single-handily setup in Buffalo and now this one. He’s riding Sid off on the half wall, knocks the stick out of his hand, Sid kicks it to Marino, Tommy switches his push to him, get’s a hit in and causes a turnover and snaps the puck to Kuzy and the rest is history. Tom Wilson is a transition hockey GOD.
Pens would tie it up in the second off of an insanely long review and very weird puck that looked like it totally went in from one angle, and totally looked like it didn’t go in from a diff angle. And guess what, the overhead camera was broken which would have made it a much easier and quicker review. The goal itself tho, 10000% Sammys fault as he fumble fucks it behind the net, turns it over, and Blueger pops it out front to Sceviour for a wide open net tuck in front and it’s a 2-2 game.
The period would then continue with roughly 45 penalties, and they all seemingly came right at the same time as the Caps got a power play, then Osh takes a penalty to null it, then Crosby takes a penalty giving the Caps a 4 on 3 and they boys were able to set it up and it’s Kuzy to Backy on a tic-tac-tuck to give the boys the lead again at 3-2.
Anddddd as the trend of the game would continue, it’s a back and forth affair as the Pens would strike back to tie it 3-3 just three min later on an absolute missel from Marcus Pettersson. Good zone entry, puck gets popped out front, Carly slightly screening Sammy and the Pens are on the board.
Three goals a period in the first two periods had ya thinking there’d be what, five more this period?! Nope, you guessed wrong. Not a ton of offense as both teams started to tighten up defensively and play for the next goal wins mentality. Something that didn’t change? The Caps taking more and more penalties, which at this point i’ve just gone ahead and accepted the fact that no coach can fix that for us. Caps do get a power play mid third off a too many men penalty by the Pens and Ovi comes THIS CLOSE to scoring his second and giving us the league. Fuckin’ double doink.
Teams continued to battle and we eventually find ourselves going to OT, giving the Pens their first point of the year and the Caps, so far, 5 of a possible 6 to start the season.
3v3 OT was terrible for the Caps. I guess that’s where it’s gonna hurt us the most being the oldest team in the league, who coulda guessed that?! Pens dominated the OT and had the majority of the chances, plus sprinkle in a two min shift by Ovi in there and we were lucky to get out alive. Shootout was next, and the Pens would go first with Letang. Sammy saves. Next up, Osh babe and he… wait what he got stopped? Things you never though you’d see for $500. To be fair, wasn’t his best move. Crosby would take the puck next and try a lil forehand/backhand and Sammy would sprawl and kick the leg up to stop Sid. Caps go with Nicky 19 next and he… missed the net. Malkin (who had a shit game) would go for the Pens and Sammy would get a low blocker on it. Kuzy had a chance to win it for the Caps but stuffed it into DeSmith’s pad. Guentzel would go next, score, and then Ovi get’s stopped giving the Pens a win. Shit game, but what are ya gonna do? (idk, stay out of the box FIVE TIMES AGAIN).