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5 Keys: Capitals at Penguins, Bold 4

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Posted on: 05/04/17

The Pittsburgh Penguins access (click Cheap NHL 18 Coins)  Bold 4 of the Eastern Conference Additional Annular with a abundant aperture to fill.

Without advanced Sidney Crosby, who will not play because of a concussion, the Penguins' plan could be decidedly altered.

Meanwhile, afterwards acceptable 3-2 in overtime in Bold 3, the Washington Capitals will attending to yield advantage of that ambiguity to win a additional afterwards bold on the road.

Here are 5 keys for Bold 4:

1. Who accomplish up for Penguins?

Following Bold 4, Crosby will be day to day afterwards he was cross-checked to the ancillary of the arch by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in the aboriginal aeon of Bold 3. Afterwards Crosby in the calendar Wednesday, Pittsburgh will charge anyone to ample the void.

The acceptable applicant would be advanced Evgeni Malkin, who leads the NHL with 15 credibility (four goals, 11 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has 154 credibility (66 goals, 84 assists) in 118 NHL regular-season amateur with Crosby injured.

"[Malkin is] one of the top players in the world," advanced Phil Kessel said. "He'll appear accessible to play."

2. Matt Niskanen will not accept to alfresco noise

Niskanen is alone focused on allowance Washington win Bold 4. He addressed the cross-check on Crosby afterwards the Capitals' morning skate Wednesday and said he abjure that it happened.

Niskanen is able to face a acrid Pittsburgh army but doesn't apprehend it to adapt his performance.

"Lucky me, I'm not on amusing media," Niskanen said. "I just accept a job to do aural our aggregation structure."

Coach Barry Trotz aswell expects Niskanen's best.

"He'll be fine," Trotz said. "He's a pro."

3. Penguins calendar shakeup

Pittsburgh captivated an alternative morning skate Wednesday, which makes it difficult to adumbrate its curve entering Bold 4. With Crosby unavailable, they should attending decidedly different.

Malkin did not skate, but should yield over at first-line center. Who he'll play with charcoal uncertain.

Forward Scott Wilson would acceptable play afterwards accepting a advantageous blemish the accomplished two games. He has two credibility (one goal, one assist) in six playoff games.

"We accept affluence of guys that will footfall up," Wilson said.

Forward Carter Rowney could aswell be amid into the calendar afterwards sitting the aboriginal three amateur of this series.

4. Braden Holtby continuing momentum

The Capitals' goaltending bearings seemed like a could cause for affair if Holtby was pulled afterwards two periods in their 6-2 accident in Bold 2, if he accustomed three goals on 14 shots. He calmed some of those fretfulness two canicule afterwards by authoritative 28 saves on 30 shots.

Washington can't acquiesce that achievement to artlessly be a one-off from Holtby. Even with the Penguins missing a few key pieces, they still accept abundant firepower to annul any opposing goaltender.

To tie the series, the Capitals will charge Holtby to angle able again.

"Game 4 is mental," Holtby said. "It's added us just focusing."

5. Pittsburgh's abridgement of power

The Penguins will crave added from their adeptness play than they accustomed Monday if they ambition to yield a 3-1 alternation lead. Pittsburgh bootless to capitalize on anniversary of its 5 adeptness plays in the aboriginal two periods of Bold 3.

Though those struggles, decidedly from the top unit, could partially be attributed to Crosby's absence, the Penguins can't acquiesce to let so abounding affairs go afterwards demography advantage. Drillmaster Mike Sullivan will not acquiesce them to alibi addition poor effort, even afterwards their captain.

"I don't anticipate we're traveling to change our bold plan just because anyone is in or out of our lineup," Sullivan said.

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle

Nate Schmidt -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Karl Alzner

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Brett Connolly, Taylor Chorney, Paul Carey

Injured: None

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Matt Cullen -- Bryan Rust

Scott Wilson -- Carter Rowney -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel, Josh Archibald, Mark Streit, Oskar Sundqvist

Injured: Sidney Crosby (concussion), Conor Sheary (concussion), Matt Murray (lower body), Kris Letang (upper body)

Status report

The Capitals dressed seven defensemen with Alzner abiding from an upper-body abrasion on Monday. It charcoal to be apparent if that's the case afresh in Bold 4. Sheary, who was aswell diagnosed with a draft afterwards Bold 3 and is accepted to absence Bold 4, skated on his own afore the Penguins' alternative convenance Tuesday. Pittsburgh recalled Sundqvist and Archibald from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. They are not accepted to play in Bold 4.


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