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Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 1 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 1 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

On Thursday night, the Capitals face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their the second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series.

The Capitals advanced to the second round thanks to a overtime goal from Marcus Johansson in Game 6 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs. The Penguins needed just four games to dispatch the Blue Jackets from the playoff bracket.

The rivalry between Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby is sure to be the focal point of the buzz surrounding the series.

But heading into Game 1, the status of Karl Alzner as it relates to Nate Schmidt's ice time is a major priority for the Capitals. Schmidt came on as a late addition following Alnzer's injury early in the Maple Leafs series and provided an immediate impact.

With Alzner getting close to a return, what Barry Trotz decides to do for Game 1 will set the tone for the entire series. 

RELATED: CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS PLAYOFF PREVIEW

CAPITALS VS. PENGUINS GAME 1 HOW TO WATCH

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
What: Game 6 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Second Round
When: 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 27
Where: Verizon Center
Online Stream: NBCSN's live stream page. Watch Caps GameTime before the game and Caps Extra following the game with CSN's live stream page here.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Radio: 1500 AM (Capitals Radio Network)

RELATED: STANLEY CUP POWER RANKINGS

WHEN IS CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1?

The Capitals and Penguins square off in Game 1 of their 2017 second-round playoff series on Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

WHAT CHANNEL IS CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1 ON?

Game 1 of the Capitals-Penguins series will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and SportsNet in Canada.

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1?

Capitals-Penguins Game 1 is available to stream live here through NBCSN's live stream page. Caps GameTime and Caps Extra pre and postgame shows are available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE LINES FOR CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1?

Here are the projected lines for Capitals-Penguins Game 1:

CAPITALS

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Tom Wilson
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Brett Connolly

Defense
Nate Schmidt - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Chandler Stephenson, Paul Carey, Karl Alzner, Taylor Chorney

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS GAME 1 LINES

Forwards
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Scott Wilson - Nick Bonino - Conor Sheary
Chris Kunitz - Matt Cullen - Tom Kuhnhackl

Defense
Ian Cole - Justin Schultz
Brian Dumoulin - Ron Hainsey
Olli Maatta - Trevor Daley

Goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury starts with Tristan Jarry as backup

Scratches
Carl Hagelin, Carter Rowney, Mark Streit, Chad Ruhwedel, Matt Murray

RELATED: 2017 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1 BETTING LINES

Stanley Cup Odds: Capitals 7/2 (+350), Penguins (17/4 (+425)
Game 1 Spread: Capitals -1.5
Game 1 Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Game 1 Money Line: Capitals (-135), Penguins (+115)

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 1 OPEN THREAD

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

CSN ON TWITTER:
— CSN's official Capitals account CSN Capitals 
— Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir
— Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan
— Capitals Desk Producer Troy Machir

Be sure to check out CSN's Facebook page, and CSN's Instagram account

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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Capitals 'hoping' Nicklas Backstrom can play in Game 3 vs. Islanders, but status remains uncertain

Capitals 'hoping' Nicklas Backstrom can play in Game 3 vs. Islanders, but status remains uncertain

While Capitals fans would take any good news they can get after the team fell behind 2-0 to the Islanders in a 5-2 loss on Friday night, there was no concrete update on center Nicklas Backstrom’s injury status postgame.

Washington coach Todd Reirden said he was hopeful for Backstrom’s return in Game 3 against New York on Sunday in Toronto. That was about all he was providing to reporters after the game. 

After a late hit from Islanders captain Anders Lee, Backstrom left Game 1 early and was ruled out for Game 2 as he remained in concussion protocol. Backstrom’s teammates and coaches were displeased by the late hit, calling it “dirty” and “predatory” after the fact.

The Caps struggled on Friday without Backstrom in an all-around sloppy performance. Reirden commented on the impact of losing the star center following Game 2.

“Without Backstrom, it's not an easy situation and getting Lars Eller back in there for the first time after being away from the bubble for a little bit, we have some adversity,” Reirden said. “We have to fight through. It's not going to happen easily. It never does, and we have to put more work in and match that and compete to give ourselves a chance to have some of our skill be more present in the game."

Now trailing 2-0 in the first round, the Capitals have to turn things around quickly if they hope to advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Having Backstrom back on the ice for Game 3 would certainly make their troubles easier. That is far from certain right now. 

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The Capitals are their own worst enemy after 'self-inflicted' mistakes lead to a 2-0 series hole

The Capitals are their own worst enemy after 'self-inflicted' mistakes lead to a 2-0 series hole

The frustration of the Capitals was evident on Friday.

Just 21 seconds after Washington gave up a breakaway, go-ahead goal to Brock Nelson in the second period, Garnet Hathaway was called for boarding Matt Martin and was hauled off to the box by the linesman with his gloves off looking for someone to fight. That play was emblematic of the team's mentality for much of Game 2 as frustration devolved into an ugly 5-2 loss at the hands of the New York Islanders.

Hathaway's boarding call was one of five power plays Washington gave up on the night.  Jakub Vrana continued his rough postseason with an early slash and Tom Wilson hit Ryan Pulock before giving him an unnecessary elbow, which sent him to the box. The team also took two too many men penalties. Washington's perfect penalty kill was finally pierced early in the second period by Nick Leddy, snapping a streak of 14 straight penalty kills.

"The disappointing part is that we get off to a good start and then self-inflicted again plays," Todd Reirden said. "It's mentally as it is physically. I mean, too many men on the ice, it's clear that the players know who they're going for and it's poor changes. Now we end up giving the momentum, we take a couple other penalties that aren't great and we allow them to get back in the game and get some momentum. We have to be smarter in that regard."

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It wasn't just the penalties that cost the Caps as mistakes were rampant throughout the game. New York's second goal came off a defensive zone turnover as Lars Eller was attacked by two forecheckers behind the net and no one reacted to give him a target to pass to. The game-winner was scored on a breakaway as Vrana tried to corral the puck at the offensive blue line with his back turned to the pressure. Brock Nelson stole it away to launch himself on the breakaway.

"I think we are just a little out of sync," John Carlson said. "There is obviously times where guys make bad plays and bad decisions, that is hockey, but I think a lot of the time we do execute the first play or two. You know just out of sync on that next leg of the play."

Coming into this series, everyone knew the Islanders could be a frustrating team to play against. It's their style of play. They play a very tough defensive style that, once they get a lead on you, suddenly becomes suffocating to play against.

But the feeling from the Caps after two games isn't so much that they are getting beat by the Islanders, but that they are beating themselves.

"We have to figure out a way to outwork this team and match their work ethic," Reirden said. "We do at some points like we do to start a game, but we don't do it for extended periods of time. We're going to have to if we want to get back in this series."

So how do you prevent the frustration we've seen from the games keep from getting into the minds of the players now with the team down 2-0 in the series?

Alex Ovechkin put it bluntly: "We've just got to move on."

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