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Orlov's blast reminds others of his past

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Orlov's blast reminds others of his past

The smile on Dmitry Orlov’s face after he blasted a howitzer behind Anders Nilsson said it all.

Six months after Capitals head coach Barry Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan wondered if Orlov would ever regain full strength in his surgically repaired left wrist, Orlov is giving them an emphatic answer.

Two nights after faking two Colorado defenders out of their skates with an Alex Ovechkin-esque move, Orlov showed his arm strength with a game-winning slap shot that nearly ripped through the twine before Edmonton Oilers goaltender Anders Nilsson knew it was behind him.

“It came to me and I just tried to shoot it and it went in,” Orlov said. “Nothing crazy. Nothing fancy.”

Orlove did crazy and fancy on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche when he netted his first NHL goal since first breaking his left wrist in the 2014 World Championships. He developed an infection in his wrist during his recovery, requiring a second surgery that essentially ended his season before it ever started.

RELATED Holtby in his own universe in shutout over Oilers

Through 20 games this season Orlov has two goals, five assists, 20 hits, nine blocked shots, two penalty minutes and is a plus-4. His big shot Monday night proved to be the difference in a game the Oilers felt they deserved to win.

 “He’s actually got a tremendous shot,” said Caps left wing Brooks Laich, who assisted on Orlov’s  goal. “It’s also nice when the puck comes off the wall right into your wheelhouse. He was patient and he was in great position.”

Orlov said scoring his first goal in 20 months on Saturday night helped his confidence.

“It was a different game, but one shot can change the whole game,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who scores, but I’ll take it.”

 

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Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1

As the Capitals and Penguins prepare to open their second-round series, significant injury news came out of Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Head coach Mike Sullivan informed the media that both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin would not play in Game 1 due to injuries.

The fact that Hagelin would not be traveling with the team suggests that he will miss Game 2 as well, but that has not been confirmed. That also means that Malkin is at least a possibility for Game 2.

Malkin did not play in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers after getting injured in a collision with Jakub Voracek in Game 5. Hagelin was injured in Game 6 on a big hit from Claude Giroux.

So when the series against Washington begins, Pittsburgh will be playing without two-thirds of its second line.

Malkin made a real push for the Hart Trophy this season with 42 goals and 98 points. He was a major factor in last season's Cup run with 28 points in 26 games and was gearing up for another big postseason with five points in his first five games.

But don't celebrate too much, Caps fans. It is not as if either loss will be crippling to Pittsburgh's offense.

Despite not having Malkin for the entire Game 6 and losing Hagelin midway through the second period, the Penguins still managed to put up eight goals on the Flyers in the series-clinching win.

Still, with scoring depth being such a strength for Pittsburgh, the Capitals need to take advantage. The Penguins will be without one of the best players in the NHL and that makes Game 1 crucial. Washington has gone down 0-2 in each of their past two playoff series including last year against Pittsburgh. They lost that series in seven games. They need to have a better start this year and with no Malkin or Hagelin for Game 1, this may be a must-win for the Caps.

Riley Sheahan and Dominik Simon skated with Phil Kessel on the second line at practice on Wednesday and it is a good bet that is how the second line will remain for Game 1. That way, Pittsburgh can keep its third line of Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard and Bryan Rust line together which has been very effective.

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NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

NHL Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Game 1 of the Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series is finally here.

The 2018 NHL Playoffs roll on and the two Metro division rivals will meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season.

Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins will take place on Thursday, April 26 at Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The the dates and times for the remainder of the Capitals-Penguins series have yet to be released, but should happen shortly.

When the Penguins do take the ice in Game 1 of against the Capitals, they will be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin. Both players were ruled out of action on Tuesday afternoon. Malkin will travel to Washington, D.C. and might be available for Game 2. Hagelin is not traveling with the team.

You can stream Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins on NBC Sports Washington using the NBC Sports App. Caps FaceOff starts our broadcast coverage at 6:00 p.m., with Caps GameTime at 6:30.

Following the end of Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins, tune in to NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra at 9:30 p.m. ET and Caps OverTime at 10:00 p.m. Times subject to change. 

What: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 1. 2018 NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS GAME 1 OF CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS PLAYOFF SERIES?

Game 1 of the Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1 ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins is on NBC Sports Network. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 on NBC Sports Network
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1?

Game 1 between the Capitals and Penguins is available to stream online on Thursday, April 26 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1?

Capitals projected Lines: TBD

Penguins projected Lines: TBD

CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS GAME 1 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF COVERAGE:
Ultimate Capitals vs. Penguins Preview
Game 6 showed the Evolution of Ovechkin