The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs begins with two games Thursday.
For the third consecutive year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will meet in the second round. Pittsburgh went on to win the Stanley Cup after beating the Capitals in the previous two meetings (six games in 2016 and seven in 2017), and the Penguins have won nine of 10 in the postseason; only losing in the first round in 1994.
Forwards Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin will not play for Pittsburgh in Game 1 due to injuries.
The Capitals haven’t made the Eastern Conference final since 1998, when they eventually reached the Stanley Cup Final only to be swept by Detroit.
Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel are tied with Boston’s David Pastrnak for the playoff lead with 13 points. Crosby and Guentzel both have six goals and seven assists. Their six goals lead all skaters.
In the nightcap, the San Jose Sharks will visit the Vegas Golden Knights.
Both teams advanced to the second round after a first-round sweep: San Jose over Anaheim and Vegas over Los Angeles. Vegas won the season series 3-0-1 against the Sharks, with two games decided in overtime.
The two teams are led by their respective stellar goaltending. San Jose’s Martin Jones posted a 1.00 goals-against average, a shutout and a .970 save percentage in the opening round, while Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury recorded a 0.65 GAA and .977 save percentage with two shutouts.
How to watch Thursday’s games:
Stanley Cup playoffs schedule
|Game 5: Washington at Vegas||WSH 3-1||7 p.m.||NBC|
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