Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino was a point per game player in the first round, and continued that with an absolutely stunning deke to set up Ben Lovejoy’s goal in the second period.
Pittsburgh center Nick Bonino was one of the most effective Penguins forwards in the first round, registering five assists in five games against the New York Rangers, and he wasn’t about to let the Washington Capitals slow him down in Game 1 of the second round.
With the Penguins down 1-0 midway through the second period, Bonino picked up a puck in the Pittsburgh zone before making a bank pass to start a breakout. The puck got moved into the neutral zone, where Carl Hagelin flipped a short backhander to Bonino, who skated into the pass and attacked the Capitals defense with speed.
Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt saw a chance to level Bonino, but he escaped the hit, slipped the puck around Capitals blueliner Dmitry Orlov, and watched as Schmidt crashed into his defense partner. With both blueliners down, Bonino fired low on Capitals netminder Braden Holtby, and Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy swatted the rebound home:
Lovejoy’s finish on Bonino’s set up set off a run of three goals in 90 seconds for the two teams. Only 57 seconds after Lovejoy tied the game, Evgeni Malkin unleashed a beautiful backhand up and over the shoulder of Holtby to give the Penguins their first lead of the game, but T.J. Oshie levelled the score for the Capitals 33 seconds after Malkin’s tally.
The teams would combine for another two goals in the third frame, with T.J. Oshie’s hat trick goal standing as the game winner in overtime. The Capitals’ 4-3 victory gives them the early edge in the series.