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Postautor: chenyan94 » 20 sie 2018, 4:20

The Washington Capitals are trying to escape both their past and the second round of the playoffs Tyron Smith Jersey Elite , and a win Thursday in Game 4 of their second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins could go a long way toward that.

Washington holds a 2-1 series lead going into Game 4 Thursday at PPG Paints Arena after Alex Ovechkin scored in the final two minutes of Game 3 for a 4-3 Capitals win.

Pittsburgh, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, is 9-1 all-time in playoff series against Washington. The Penguins beat the Capitals in the postseason the past two seasons and in 2009 en route to Cup championships.

The Capitals prefer to look forward, however, starting with attempting to win three in a row and take what would be a fairly commanding two-game series lead.

“The biggest thing we’ve learned is to focus on the moment,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday. “That moment is going to be (Thursday) and nothing past that.”

Both teams held optional practices at separate facilities Wednesday.

Washington will be without forward Tom Wilson, who was suspended three games by the NHL for a hit on Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese that, according to Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan, left the rookie with a concussion and a broken jaw that will require surgery.

That was the second controversial hit delivered by Wilson, who knocked Brian Dumoulin out of Game 2 with a hit that put one of the team’s best defenseman into the NHL’s concussion protocol. Wilson was not penalized http://www.titansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-luke-falk-jersey , nor did he have a hearing with the league’s department of player safety for that hit.

Trotz, speaking before the Wilson decision was announced, said simply that his team would “see what the league says and then we’ll react off of it. We’re going to prepare like we always do.”

Pittsburgh, even while trailing in the series after winning Game 1, is taking the same approach.

“I don’t think anything (specifically in our game) concerns us,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “There are always things that you have to clean up and get better (at) as the series goes on. So there are things we definitely want to improve on, but I think that’s pretty typical for any series.”

What’s not typical is Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray showing any sign of uncertainty. However, he lamented giving up Ovechkin’s game-winner and described his performance in Game 3 as “shaky.”

“I felt really good the first two games. … One save could’ve got the job done at the end (of Game 3). So still right there, still feel pretty good overall,” Murray said.

The only personnel question lingering for Pittsburgh is winger Carl Hagelin Vinny Curry Jersey Elite , who is practicing with bulky full-face protection but hasn’t played this series because of a mouth injury. He is listed as day to day.

Pittsburgh split the first two games in Washington, but the Capitals are hoping to go one better by sweeping Games 3 and 4 on the road.

“I mean, if you want to be successful in the playoffs you have got to win on the road, and especially because they won the first game,” Washington winger Nicklas Backstrom told the Washington Post. “It’s nicer to be up 2-1 than being down 2-1. We’re just excited for the next game.”

And a chance to help leave history in the past.

“I really believe this team has felt a little bit different, even in-season. When we’d get down a couple goals, we could fight back. It seems that we’re never out of it,” Capitals winger Jay Beagle said. “We have a great group of guys here. We’ve just got to obviously continue to play a hard road game (Thursday) and know that Pittsburgh’s going to play their best and make sure that we come out and match it.”

Mason Rudolph started wearing the No. 2 while playing high school football in South Carolina. He kept it during his record-breaking career at Oklahoma State, where he left as the program’s all-time winningest quarterback.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers let him know No. 2 was available when he reported for rookie minicamp, he jumped at the chance.

The two-time defending AFC North champions raised eyebrows when they traded up to grab Rudolph in the third round of the draft – with general manager Kevin Colbert stressing the team had given Rudolph a first-round grade. Rudolph is well aware that he’s second on the depth chart – and more likely third – behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones.

”I’m looking forward to embracing my role now on this team and learning Youth Kareem Martin Jersey ,” Rudolph said Friday after finishing his first practice as a pro along with the other rookies and first-year players.

And just in case Rudolph needed a reminder about his status, Roethlisberger provided a few in recent weeks when he expressed surprise the team used such a high pick on a quarterback when the 36-year-old two-time Super Bowl winner plans to play until he’s nearing his 40s.

Rudolph didn’t take it personally and pointed out Roethlisberger sent him a text on Thursday wishing him luck.

”I think the media got kind of twisted around a little bit,” Rudolph said of Roethlisberger’s comments to both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 93.7 The Fan radio in Pittsburgh. ”I think he’s a competitor. He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback and he’s a competitive guy and that’s what I would expect.”

Then again, so is Rudolph. Save for the first 10 games of his prolific career at Oklahoma State, Rudolph has been the starting quarterback for whatever team he was on since his sophomore year of high school. Waiting until the third round while five of his peers went ahead of him- including college rival Baker Mayfield – is something Rudolph admits he’ll carry with him for a long time.

He may need something to keep the fire burning as he spends this fall (and perhaps several others) on the sideline with a clipboard or a headset during games.

”I’m here to prove myself,” Rudolph said. ”That’s the way I approach every facet of my life. But I don’t feel like I’ve got to prove anything to anyone other than these coaches and my teammates.”

Rudolph received new offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s playbook about a week ago, one he’s tried to split up into parts so he’s not overwhelmed by its volume.

There will be adjustments along the way. He worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun at Oklahoma State while running coach Mike Gundy’s ”Air Raid” offense. Though he’s spent the last several months doing a crash course on working under center, there were a couple of missed exchanges on Friday.

At one point, when a play didn’t go as crisply as Rudolph liked, he asked Fichtner if he could run it again. It wasn’t a surprise to rookie wide receiver James Washington Buccaneers Ronald Jones II Jersey , a teammate of Rudolph at Oklahoma State and a second-round pick by the Steelers, taken 16 selections ahead of his good friend.

”He’s a perfectionist,” Washington said. ”He doesn’t like things sloppy. I mean if it’s sloppy he’s going to redo it. That’s something that will help him.”

Washington also isn’t concerned about Rudolph taking a backseat for now. They both knew what they were getting when coach Mike Tomlin called him two weeks ago to say they’re coming to the Steelers. This isn’t a rebuilding project. Pittsburgh is built to win now.

Barring injuries, Washington will be asked to make more of an immediate impact than Rudolph. That doesn’t mean Rudolph is going to lose his patience.

”He’s a strong-minded guy,” Washington said. ”He doesn’t care about the hype. He’s just another guy looking for a job.”

And Rudolph understands his job is to soak up what he can from whomever he can and not let egos or agendas or anything else get in the way.

”I’m sure when we get in this building, in this (quarterback) room … we’re going to be friends and I’m going to let (Roethlisberger) do his thing,” Rudolph said. ”I’m going to try and pick up what I can from him but not bother him.”



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