Analysis | Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Capitals seek commanding series lead over Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3

April 15 at 1:54 PM Game 3
Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Series: Capitals lead, 2-0 | Monday, 7 p.m. ET, PNC Arena | TV: NBC Sports Washington, CNBC

* Top story lines: PNC Arena is hosting its first playoff game in a decade, and players from both locker rooms are expecting a lively environment. The Capitals were especially successful on the road last season, winning 10 of their 13 away games during the playoffs. Read more

* Players to watch: Carolina will again start goaltender Petr Mrazek. He’s last among goaltenders who have logged at least 50 minutes this postseason with an even-strength save percentage of .857, and his high-danger save percentage has dropped to .818. Read more

* Pregame reading: Catch up on all The Post’s coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Read more

Current series: Capitals lead 2-0
Top story lines

* First playoff game in a decade: Carolina will be playing its first postseason game in a decade Monday night at PNC Arena. The last time the Hurricanes played a playoff game at home was May 26, 2009 for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh. The Penguins were up 3-0 in the series and beat the Hurricanes 4-1 for a 4-0 series sweep. The Penguins ended up winning the Stanley Cup that spring. Current Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was a member of the Penguins at the time.

Carolina Coach Rod Brind’Amour, who himself played in playoff games at PNC Arena, said he expects the emotion in the building will be high, and for the city, it will “be nice to have a home game … and hopefully will give them a lot to cheer about.”

“This is an extremely important game,” Carolina captain Justin Williams said. “It is not a go-home game, but it is an extremely important game. … We need to get ourselves back into this series and we need to do it for this game.”

The Capitals won in PNC Arena twice during the regular season and are aware of the hostile environment the building will offer. Capitals Coach Todd Reirden said he prepared his players for the extra energy coursing through the building Monday night and to expect a very “urgent, desperate team that is going to get a lot of energy from this crowd tonight.” He was an assistant coach on that 2009 Penguins team.

“I think we have to be prepared, definitely,” forward T.J. Oshie said. “Them coming back into this building, obviously they have done a pretty good job with the fans this year and getting them involved and I’m sure they are going to be fired up for tonight. We can’t be surprised by it. We played in other loud, hostile buildings before and we have to use that experience as motivation.”

The Capitals went 10-3 on the road in last year’s playoffs. During the regular season, Washington won 24 out of 41 road games. On Monday morning, players …read more

Source:: Daily times


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