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Series comeback falls short as Caps fall victim to Penguins once again

Series comeback falls short as Caps fall victim to Penguins once again

Final score: Washington Capitals 0, Pittsburgh Penguins 2

How it happened: After a dominant opening flurry from Washington, both teams settled into an even period as both were held off the scoreboard in the first. The even plan continued in the second until an attempt to clear the puck along the boards by Matt Niskanen backfired as Ian Cole collected it in front of the blue line and started the quick attack ending with a goal for Bryan Rust. Another turnover along the boards by Kevin Shattenkirk turned into a third period goal by Patric Hornqvist. Despite trailing, Washington was able to muster almost no offense in the final frame, finishing with just five shots on goal in the third period.

What it means:  For the second year in a row, the Capitals have been eliminated from the playoffs in the second round by the rival Penguins. Washington has not advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 1998 and now face a lot of tough offseason questions as they have reached the end of general manager Brian MacLellan’s two-year window.

Penguins goal: Bryan Rust from Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby at 8:49 in the 2nd. Matt Niskanen tried to play the puck along the boards in the defensive zone, but it was intercepted by Ian Cole who quickly passed it back up to Crosby. Crosby fed Guentzel who showed good patience and waited to hit the trailing Rust. Rust then beat Holtby just over the shoulder for the goal. Caps 0, Penguins 1

Penguins goal: Patrick Hornqvist from Justin Schultz at 4:14 in the 3rd. Braden Holtby tapped a puck along to Kevin Shattenkirk who had more room than he apparently thought because he carelessly flicked the puck along the boards. Schultz won the race for the puck and chopped it up to Hornqvist. Hornqvist tried the hopeful backhand and managed to tuck it off the crossbar and in. Caps 0, Penguins 2

3 Caps stars

1. Braden Holtby: The early series struggles now seem like a distant memory for Holtby as he put together another strong performance on Wednesday. He did absolutely everything he could to keep Washington in this one, but it was not enough.

2. Lars Eller: We know how Barry Trotz's line change benefitted Andre Burkovsky, but Lars Eller has played well too and that continued on Wednesday. He looked confident and his play reflected that.

3. Brooks Orpik: When the Caps had nothing going for them in the third period, Orpik tried to spark the team by dropping the gloves with Scott Wilson. Someone needed to do something to wake up the Caps.

Look ahead: The quest for the Stanley Cup begins again in October.

Watch the game? Tell us what you thought

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Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

USA TODAY Sports, Marvel and DC Comics

Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Washington Capitals!

It's not hard to picture your favorite athletes as superheroes. What the Caps are able to do on the ice seems almost superhuman at times.

Heck, they even have uniforms!


But the similarities don't just end with the physical attributes and abilities. When you begin to really think about each player, you can see a lot of similarities between each of them and some well-known superheroes.

If each Caps player was a superhero, which one would they be? Check out each player's superhero character here.


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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

USA Today Sports

Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

Friday featured Dmitry Orlov and his jam-packed schedule with the coveted Stanley Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Russia decided to take the Cup to Novokuznetsk (located in the southwest region of Siberia) for a meet and greet with fans by the Ferris wheel at Gagarin City Park.

It should be mentioned that Orlov's day with the trophy was nearly derailed after a travel glitch that sent the Cup to Novosibirsk instead of his hometown. 

Thanks to the ultimate assist from a helicopter, the Cup arrived in style and set up one memorable entrance for the defenseman. 

Orlov released this hype video which highlights his entire day on Instagram: 

Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Talk about a banner weekend for the Washington Capitals. The Ovechkins welcomed their new son, Sergei Aleksandrovich, into the world and Orlov pulled off yet another spectacular day with the Cup.