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Second Period Analysis

Saturday, 01.01.2011 / 10:10 PM / 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
By Tony Jovenitti
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Second Period Analysis
The intensity only increased in the second period, with the Capitals coming away with the 2-1 advantage.

BREAKAWAY BREAKTHROUGH

Evgeni Malkin broke the 0-0 tie two minutes into the second period open the Winter Classic scoring. Malkin broke through on a breakaway opportunity.

The Capitals had a great chance just two minutes into the period, but Marc-Andre Fleury made the save. He pushed it to Letang, who made a great pass off the boards to Malkin.

Malkin sped up the middle ahead of John Erskine, and wristed the puck into the net through the five-hole of goalie Semyon Varlamov.


FLOWER STONES OVIE
The Capitals may have scored two goals in the middle frame, but Marc-Andre Fleury made an incredible save in the early-goings of the period.

With the game still scoreless, Alexander Ovechkin found himself on a breakaway. He made a switch from backhand to forehand and tried to beat Fleury glove side. But Fleury was unfazed and made the exceptional pad save.

Moments later, Malkin scored.

The Capitals sent an onslaught of pucks Fleury’s way, but “Flower” stopped 14 shots.


CRASHING THE CREASE

Both goaltenders not only saw a lot of pucks fly their way, but bodies were also hurled into the crease quite often.

Brooks Laich took a penalty early in the period for crashing into Fleury. Then flying bodies led to the Capitals’ first goal, as a pileup in front of Fleury led everyone to lose sight of the biscuit but Mike Knuble, who punched the puck through the goaltender’s five hole.

In the final minute, the Penguins appeared to tie the game on a three-on-two breakaway where Craig Adams buried the puck. But the referee ruled that Mike Rupp – who skated through the crease – didn’t allow Varlamov to play the puck.


FAN FUEL
The incredible atmosphere at Heinz Field never let up throughout the second. The goals and seating arrangements helped out a bit.

In the closed end zone, Capitals fans occupied roughly every other section, while the hometown fans filled in the rest. The stadium erupted when Malkin lit the lamp for the first-ever Penguins goal in Heinz Field, but the Capitals fans got their opportunity for a little bit of joy a few minutes later.

Needless to say, fans will leave happy regardless of the winner.  


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