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Thursday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews, predictions and key matchups ahead of tonight’s Round 2 kickoff.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • The Caps' first and third lines are in for a tough task in this series, and they're ready for it. [Rink]
  • Six things we were talking about yesterday when we were talking about the Caps. [Rink (morning, afternoon)]
  • Get to know some more Penguins. [Rink (Schultz, Hainsey)]
  • That's good, because the Caps will likely need their third line, and Lars Eller in particular, to be firing on all cylinders to get past the Pens. [WaPo, CSNMA, WashTimes]
  • Previews and predictions! [Puck Daddy, The Score, StarsandSticks, Caps Outsider, FRS, Tribune-Review (and again)]
  • This is a pretty great second-round matchup - but how does it stack up against some other epic semifinal rounds? [THN (DGB)]
  • Three reasons for optimism and three for pessimism. As long as those bases are covered! [CSNMA (and again)]
  • This series could very well come down to special teams. [CSNMA, NoVa Caps]
  • T.J. Oshie: Penguin-killer. [, WaPo]
  • Some potential game changers not named Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby. [ESPN, The Score, Tribune-Review]
  • And yet, let's not pretend this series doesn't center around those two. [WaPo]
  • The time for redemption is now. []
  • And yet the two teams that face off tonight, while similar, will have some key differences to the squads that battled a year ago. [AP]
  • Brooks Orpik has the unique viewpoint of having played with - and against - both of the teams in this series. []
  • Facing off against his former team serves as a reminder of how Matt Niskanen turned his career around in the 'Burgh. [WaPo]
  • Hear from the Caps and coach after their final full practice before Round 2. [Monumental video (Trotz, Backstrom, locker room)]
  • Breaking down the goaltending matchup. [, RMNB]
  • Patric Hornqvist is that guy who will "accidentally" land on the opposing team's netminder - and no one knows that better than the guy who used to coach him. [CSNMA, Tribune-Review]
  • After a speed-filled first round against the Leafs, the Caps are looking to up the velocity in Round 2. [Tribune-Review]
  • In injury updates, it still sounds like Karl Alzner is out of the lineup for now. []
  • Meanwhile in the black and gold, Carl Hagelin is also a no-go for Game 1. []
  • Evgeni Malkin is content to stay out of the spotlight and let Crosby and Ovechkin have the attention. Y'know, like a cheap-shotting version of Nicklas Backstrom. []
  • Are the Capitals chokers or are they cursed? Or perhaps somewhere in between? Discuss. [Tribune-Review]
  • The Bears still have some work ahead of them, with Lehigh Valley striking in OT to extend their first-round series. [Patriot-News]