With the focus of Capitals-Penguins 24/7 turning to the Penguins, we see one of the harsh realities of hockey: a puck to the face of Ben Lovejoy, who had scored his first NHL goal earlier in the night. After the game, all Lovejoy could talk about was the goal, and the win. Pleasure always outweighs pain.
Leading up to the big rivalry game though, it was a different kind of pain that Bruce Boudreau was discussing with his troops. Boudreau outlined his strategy for how the Capitals intend to handle Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in their upcoming games against the Penguins.
I don't think it bothers Crosby whether you run him or whether you don't touch him. He's gonna play his game.
But Malkin's a different animal here. I think if we, if every chance you get you hit him, he's gonna come back at you, and he's gonna try to get you back. And he's gonna take a silly penalty. And he's done this a lot. Like if you f*** with him in the zone here, he's gonna screw right back with you, and he's gonna get the retaliation penalty. And it gets him off his game. Let's make sure we're finishing the check on him, pushing him, getting in his face. When he retaliates, we take advantage of the retaliation and get a power play out of this.
And what happened in the game later that day? A penalty to Malkin. Two minutes for interference.
But it doesn't help if the Capitals can't score off their resulting power play. Moments after leaving the penalty box, Malkin assisted to Crosby for the first goal of the night.