WASHINGTON — The Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping to have one of their primary weapons back in the lineup for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
Center Evgeni Malkin was a full participant in Saturday’s practice and coach Mike Sullivan said he will be a game-time decision Sunday afternoon.
Malkin has missed Pittsburgh’s last two games after suffering a lower-body injury in Game 4 of the series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“When you feel something wrong Isaac Yiadom Color Rush Jersey , you always hope it’s not going to be bad. You hope it’s small things,” Malkin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But sometimes you need time to recover. I’m trying to do my best. I can’t play last (game), but maybe (Sunday).”
The Penguins will be looking to go up 2-0 after Thursday night’s third-period rally.
Washington took a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds into Game 1 and had several odd-man rushes, something Pittsburgh worked on during Saturday’s practice.
“When we don’t pay attention to the details and support one another and make sure we get above the attack and get on the right side of people, then we are vulnerable to those types of circumstances,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told the Tribune-Review.
“I don’t think we did as good a job, especially early in the game. The first eight or nine minutes, we allowed a couple of odd-man rushes we can certainly do our part to limit and avoid just by attention to detail on our part.”
The Capitals are no strangers to being behind in a series Alex Avila Jersey , having lost the first two games at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets before winning four straight in the opening round. Washington lost the first two games at home against the Penguins a year ago but forced a Game 7 on home ice, which they lost.
Still, they will have to learn to handle prosperity better if they want to keep advancing. The Capitals have built a two-goal lead in five of their seven games this postseason. They have proceeded to lose the lead — and the game — three times.
“We want to play a lot of ways the same way to get the lead,” Washington coach Barry Trotz told The Washington Post. “The key to me is to not get on your heels, and I don’t think we’ve gotten on our heels a whole lot. But teams have been able to get back in the games.”
In addition to stopping Sydney Crosby, and possibly Malkin, the Capitals need to cool off Jake Guentzel, who has 16 points in the playoffs Authentic Daryl Worley Jersey , half of them in the last two games.
“It’s crazy,” Pittsburgh’s Patric Hornqvist told NHL.com. “He has eight points the last two games. I don’t think that happens too many times in playoff history. He takes the pucks to the net, he goes there and he seems to find every single puck there, so hopefully he will do the same thing (Sunday) and find those pucks.”
Linemates Guentzel, Hornqvist and Crosby accounted for Pittsburgh’s three third-period goals Thursday night.
“They don’t need a lot of chances,” Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen told NHL.com. “If they have one good look, they can snipe. But you can’t overthink it either. You’ve just got to play your game. But when it’s your guy, when it’s your turn to check Youth Kentavius Street Jersey , you’ve got to check hard and really take away their space.”
The Baltimore Orioles go for their first series sweep of the season against an unlikely opponent.
The O’s, who entered the weekend with the worst record in the American League, will try to take three straight from the Atlanta Braves, who began the series tied for the best record in the National League. Atlanta has been swept only once this season.
Baltimore will send right-hander David Hess (2-3, 4.82 ERA) against Atlanta’s Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 4.89) on Sunday at SunTrust Park.
Baltimore has found its offense in Atlanta, scoring 17 runs in the first two games. Mark Trumbo had a grand slam Saturday and Chris Davis returned from an eight-game hiatus to hit a home run Friday and drive in three runs Saturday.
“I feel a lot better,” said Davis Authentic Adam Boqvist Jersey , who entered the series hitting .150. “I feel like I’m getting there, starting to get that calm and easy feel. It feels good to contribute to two wins.”
Baltimore had lost eight of its last 10 games entering the series, but their two losses in the previous series against Washington had been by three or fewer runs.
“We have been playing better, more like we need to play and how to play,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m happy that they are getting their turn. The mood and the effort, that’s been on-going, but how much of that can you take? You worry about that because nobody is happy about losing.”
Hess will be making his eighth start and has made quality starts in four of them. He’s received an average of 4.10 runs in support. But his last victory came on May 25 against Tampa Bay.
The rookie will be making his first career start against Atlanta. He has started seven games this season and has struggled in the last two outings.
He allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings against Washington on Tuesday and five runs in 3 1/3 innings against Boston on June 12. His last four starts have reaped two losses and two no-decisions.
McCarthy was on the verge of losing his spot in the rotation, but received a reprieve when rookie Mike Soroka had to be placed on the disabled list for the second time with shoulder soreness. Otherwise Jerome Baker Color Rush Jersey , he would likely have been moved to the bullpen.
McCarthy threw 5 2/3 innings in his last start against San Diego on June 15 and allowed two runs. In 14 starts, McCarthy has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 10 games.
McCarthy has made 10 career appearances (eight starts) against Baltimore and compiled a 2-2 record with a 4.28 ERA. He has not faced the Orioles since 2014.
Atlanta would like to see McCarthy pitch deeper in the game in order to give the bullpen a break. Luke Jackson, Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan have pitched the last two days and are likely unavailable. Concern remains about closer Arodys Vizcaino, who has complained of right shoulder soreness and hasn’t pitched in six days.
Vizcaino has suffered shoulder issues this season and had a cortisone injection this week.
“It’s one of those spots in the year with him,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We went through it a couple times with him last year. There are times he’s going to have to be down, just to get him through the year.”
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