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Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 3 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 3 time, TV channel, how to watch, live stream

Down 2-0 in the series, the Caps now face the daunting task of trying to battle back against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Following their loss in Game 2, the team held a players-only meeting. Will the message resonate and lead to a big performance in Game 3?

After giving up three goals in the second period on Saturday, Braden Holtby was pulled for Philipp Grubauer. On Monday, however, it will be Holtby in net to start again for Washington as he tries to find his Vezina form. Kevin Shattenkirk will also look for a bounce-back game after a tough start to the series. He now sits with a team-low plus/minus rating of minus-7.

Karl Alzner remains day-to-day. If he is ready to play Monday, could Barry Trotz choose to dress seven defensemen?

RELATED: CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS PLAYOFF PREVIEW

CAPITALS VS. PENGUINS GAME 3 HOW TO WATCH

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
What: Game 3 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Second Round
When: 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday, May 1
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Online Stream: NBCSN's live stream pagee. Watch Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. 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 3?

The Capitals and Penguins square off in Game 3 of their 2017 second-round playoff series on Monday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

WHAT CHANNEL IS CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 3 ON?

Game 3 of the Capitals-Penguins series will be broadcast on NBC and CBC in Canada.

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 3?

Capitals-Penguins Game 3 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 3?

Here are the projected lines for Capitals-Penguins Game 3:

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 - Paul Carey

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

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches
Brett Connolly, Karl Alzner, Taylor Chorney

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS GAME 1 LINES

Forwards
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Phil Kessel
Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Conor Sheary
Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Scott Wilson
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
Patric Hornqvist, Carter Rowney, Mark Streit, Chad Ruhwedel, Matt Murray

RELATED: 2017 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 3 BETTING LINES

Stanley Cup Odds: Capitals 7/2 (+350), Penguins 17/4 (+425)
Game 3 Spread: Capitals +1.5
Game 3 Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Game 3 Money Line: Capitals (+105), Penguins (-125)

CAPITALS-PENGUINS GAME 3 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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What goalie controversy? Why Samsonov is not going to take over as the No. 1 even after a rough start for Holtby

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What goalie controversy? Why Samsonov is not going to take over as the No. 1 even after a rough start for Holtby

You could pretty much see this coming. With Braden Holtby on the last year of his contract and with his assumed successor, Ilya Sasmonov, now serving as his backup in the NHL, all the elements were there for a goalie controversy. All it needed was for Samsonov to play well in his opportunities and Holtby to struggle for murmurs over whether Samsonov should be named the No. 1 to begin bubbling in Washington.

But ultimately there is no goalie controversy for the Washington Capitals because Samsonov was never going to be the No. 1 goalie in the 2019-20 season. That has not and, barring some extreme circumstances, will not change.

Is this because of underlying concerns over Samsonov’s play? A coach and general manager’s stubborn loyalty to Holtby? A reluctance to turn the reins over to a young rising star?

No, no and no.

To figure out why the Caps will keep Holtby as their starter through the regular season, even if it means seeing him walk as a free agent in the offseason, let’s turn the clocks back to 2018. From Feb. 2 to March 6, Holtby suffered the worst stretch of his career. In 11 games, he won just three with a save percentage of .872 and a whopping 4.45 GAA. He was pulled four times in those 11 games.

There’s no sugarcoating it, he was awful.

When discussing the possibility of Samsonov taking over as the No. 1, many fans have brought up this stretch as an example of when Holtby lost his job as the starter to Philipp Grubauer. But there are few important factors that people are forgetting.

First, Grubauer had a lot of starting experience by that time. Being a starter is not just about being able to play well in a single game, it is about being able to handle the grind of playing in multiple games. Grubauer played in 50 total games in 2014-15 (49 with Hershey, one with the Caps), 45 games in 2013-14 (28 with Hershey, 17 with the Caps), 56 games in 2012-13 (26 with the Reading Royals, 28 with Hershey and two with the Caps) and 43 games with South Carolina in 2011-12.

The most games Samsonov has played in a single season? That would be 37 which he played just last year in Hershey. The team had faith in Grubauer’s ability to handle the rigors of being a No. 1 because he had the experience, experience that Samsonov does not yet have.

An NHL season consists of 82 games plus the playoffs. For Samsonov to take over in October, the first month of the season, you would have to think that would mean he would play at least 45 or 50 games, this from a player in his first year in the NHL who has never played that many games at any level in his career. That was never going to happen.

When Holtby was pulled from the game in March 6, 2018, he took time for a reset and did not play again until March 16. When he returned, there were 12 games left in the season. He started six of them.

Even when Holtby was at his absolute worst, he never became the outright backup in the regular season. It was not until the start of the postseason that Grubauer was named the No. 1.

Knowing this, I’m not sure how anyone could reasonably expect Samsonov to take over as the No. 1, especially in the first month of the season. If that stretch in 2018 was not bad enough to relegate Holtby to the backup, a handful of rough performances to start the 2019 season sure is not going to.

Yes, Holtby is a little older, but he’s still just 30 and it wasn’t like the Cup run was five years ago. It was 16 months ago. And, by the way, let’s not forget how that story ended in 2018. If there is any goalie in the NHL who could rebound from a tough start to the season, it seems like the guy who was able to rebound from the worst stretch of his career to lead a team to its first Stanley Cup would be a pretty good candidate.

Holtby already looks like a different goalie after just one game off and has rebounded in his last two starts, both wins, making 67 saves on 72 shots for a .931 save percentage.

When you get to the playoffs, all bets are off. If Samsonov has been the better goalie at that point, it would not be shocking at all to see him take over as the starter. But even if he is brilliant this season, at the most he is going to split time with Holtby, he is not going to start getting a bulk of the starts.

Obviously, an injury to Holtby would change things as would the team completely bottoming out this season. If it becomes clear that the rebuild is upon us, Holtby suddenly becomes obvious trade bait. As long as the Caps remain a Cup contender, however, there is no reason to trade away the goalie that got you there in 2018, especially if doing so would mean throwing Samsonov to the wolves and playing him in more games than you know he can handle. It is not good for the team’s Cup chances and it is not good for Samsonov’s development. It is just not going to happen.

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Braden Holtby, special teams deliver Caps a win in Chicago

Braden Holtby, special teams deliver Caps a win in Chicago

The Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged five goals in the third period, but it was the Caps who came out on top on Sunday in a 5-3 win. The game is the first of a five-game road swing for the Caps who have now won three straight.

Observations from the win

Another strong game for Holtby

The brief reset seems to have done the job for Braden Holtby who made 41 saves. He was also very good on Friday against the New York Rangers. He looked mad after giving up the third goal, but that was a tough shot from one of the most lethal scorers in the game.

Patrick Kane came in on a 2-on-1 and Holtby did not for one second think he was going to pass. Usually you can see a goalie start to cheat over in anticipation of the pass, butHoltby stayed square with Kane the whole way. I watched the game with former goalie Brent Johnson who noted the puck began to roll when Kane shot it. It looked like it was going high, but instead went through the 5-hole which may be why Holtby was annoyed.

Regardless, that was a tough shot to save and he was good overall for the night. Stringing a few solid games together should keep the talk of a goalie controversy at bay.

That’s what Carl Hagelin brings

It was a slow start to the season for Hagelin, but this was one of his better games of the season. He was especially brilliant on the penalty kill and his play to start the breakout and assist Dowd on the shorthanded goal was the turning point of the game (spoiler alert!).

Adjust your expectations when you evaluate Hagelin. He is not a big point producer, that’s not why they got him. Brian MacLellan traded for Hagelin for performances like we saw Sunday.

Nic Dowd needs to stay in the lineup

Dowd now has two goals in two games, but it’s not just about that. The fourth line just looks better with him on it, as does the penalty kill. This should not be a guy having to fight for his spot in the lineup. He’s earned it in my mind.

Turning point

Drake Caggiula tied the game at 1 in the second period and suddenly the momentum was all on Chicago’s side. Just one minute later, Chandler Stephenson was given a double-minor for high-sticking Kirby Dach. This was Chicago’s moment to take control of the game. Instead, it proved to be the turning point for Washington.

Patrick Kane turned the puck over on the power play and Hagelin picked it up and was off to the races, sparking a 2-on-1 with Dowd. Hagelin made the pass to Dowd who beat Corey Crawford glove-side for his second goal in as many games.

Chicago was given the double-minor power play exactly one minute after tying the game. Just 28 seconds after that, the Caps retook momentum with the shorthanded goal. The Blackhawks’ power play, which had looked dangerous to that point, completely fizzled through the rest of the double-minor.

Play of the night

Alex Ovechkin from the office? Been there, done that. It’s a great shot from the Great 8, but what makes this play so darn pretty is the pass from John Carlson.

A slap shot from Michal Kempny went wide of the net and curled around the wall back towards the blue line. Carlson collected it and immediately fired it on the first touch cross-ice to perfectly feed Ovechkin for the one-timer.

Stat of the night

As hot as Carlson is, this category can just be dominated by him considering the elite company he is keeping these days.

So as not to be monotonous, I’ll give you a bonus stat.

The Caps may have given up three goals on the night, but don’t let that fool you. This was a really strong game for Holtby who faced 44 shots.


Quote of the night

Tom Wilson on the netminder's performance.

"I think Holts had his calm demeanor back, for sure."

Fan predictions

Bold...but not quite.

You got the score right. Kuznetsov and Carlson both had assists, Ovechkin had one goal. Well done.

It was a relatively high-scoring game and Chicago did manage 44 shots on goal, but the Caps also blocked 31 of those shots and were perfect on the penalty kill with five kills.

He doesn’t like taking penalties either, but he took a double-minor on Sunday. That is four more PIM than he had all of last season.

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