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The Philadelphia
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Now that Mike Sullivan and Barry Trotz have matched wits in a playoff series for three consecutive years Austin Hooper Jersey , they harbor very few secrets.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals know each other inside-out from 17 postseason games since 2016. The coaches are very familiar with the dynamics of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and just about all the other moving pieces.
”Every move that we make there’s a counter move, and every move they make there’s a little counter move,” Trotz said. ”It’s funny: A lot of them are the same things that we’ve seen at different parts in the last couple series. They just come in different order sometimes at you. There’s only maybe so many bricks that you have and they are just lined up a different way all the time.”
Sullivan moved his pieces around as Pittsburgh tied the series at 2-2, and now Trotz gets the next chance in their chess match for Game 5 on Saturday (7 p.m. EDT, NBC). After Alex Ovechkin put no shots on net for the third time in his playoff career – with Tom Wilson suspended the first of three games – it starts with finding the right mix on the top line.
Trotz tried Devante Smith-Pelly with Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and that trio was outshot 21-9 at even strength. Maybe Smith-Pelly will be back on that line, maybe he won’t after the Capitals coaching staff pored over video to see what went wrong.
”We’re looking at that,” Trotz said. ”I think that whole line has to be better for us. They’re going to need to be productive.”
Pittsburgh’s top line of Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and whoever else has been incredibly productive. All 10 of the Penguins’ goals in the series have come with Crosby on the ice, and Guentzel leads all players in the playoffs with 10 goals and 21 points.
”I just think he’s the best player in the game,” Sullivan said of Crosby Star Lotulelei Jersey , who played with Guentzel and Dominik Simon in Game 4. ”Sid certainly makes everybody around him better players but you’ve got to give Jake a lot of credit for the game that he’s playing.”
The Penguins got speedy winger Carl Hagelin back from injury while the Capitals lost Wilson. That’s a disadvantage for Washington, but the spotlight is still on Trotz to make the necessary adjustments as Capitals-Penguins becomes a best-of-three series.
”I think every game both teams recalibrate, if you will, in some areas,” Trotz said. ”There’s little changes we’ve noticed with them, and there’s some changes that we added in. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t have the effect that we wanted to. At the end of the day, it’s two guys going nose to nose, battling for position, battling for free pucks, executing on plays under pressure. Once we put a plan in place, we put the players in charge, really.”
CHESS MATCH II
In the West, Nashville coach Peter Laviolette also made a key change in the series between the NHL’s top two teams Brent Grimes Jersey , benching Game 2 double-overtime hero Kevin Fiala in favor of veteran Scott Hartnell for more size, strength and experience against Winnipeg. That, plus replacing Alexei Emelin with Yannick Weber, allowed Nashville to better counter imposing Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien in tying the series at 2-2. Game 5 is Saturday night in Nashville (9:30 p.m. EDT, NBCSN).
Laviolette said making a change involves taking into account the opposition, building, a player’s experience and style of play.
”They’re never easy,” Laviolette said. ”But I thought the guys that went in the lineup last night did a really good job. Hartnell played a good game. He did what we were hoping he would do, and I thought Yannick Weber went in and played a good game.”
With the Jets held without a shot for the first 12 minutes of the third period, Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice started mixing up his lines. He swapped centers, skating Mark Scheifele with Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine with Paul Stastny between Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor. Laine scored his first goal of the series and first in the postseason since Game 2 on April 13 against Minnesota.
DERBY DAY ODDS
The betting favorite to win these two series will be whoever comes out on top in Game 5, based on history alone. The 256 previous times where it was tied at 2, the Game 5 winner went on to win the series 78.9 percent of the time. So there’s no urgency lacking.
”We’re going to need our best effort of the series probably in Game 5 to get a win Jeff Locke Jersey ,” Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”I think we’re building a belief that we can beat these guys. We know we’re going to have to play really well, but it’s possible. We think we can do it.”

AP Sports Writers Will Graves in Pittsburgh and Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed.


The Los Angeles Angels were 4 1/2 games behind the Seattle Mariners when they opened a three-game series three weeks ago. When the Angels return to Seattle on Tuesday to begin another three-game set, they’ll be 11 games behind the Mariners for the second wild card from the American League.
The Mariners (54-31) swept the Angels the last time they were in town, and Seattle expanded that cushion by going 7-0 last week for their longest winning streak of the season.
The Angels (43-42) are 6-14 since pulling within 3 1/2 games of the Mariners on June 9. They lost to the Minnesota Twins the following day before getting swept June 11-13 in Seattle. Los Angeles has already played six games at Safeco Field this season but has yet to host the Mariners in Anaheim.
If the Angels drop the series opener, they’ll own a .500 record for the first time since the second game of the season.
The scheduled starting pitchers for Tuesday were also matched up on June 11.
Los Angeles left-hander Andrew Heaney (4-5, 3-95 ERA) gave up five runs and seven hits in three innings of the 5-3 loss.
Seattle left-hander Wade LeBlanc (3-0, 3.38) gave up two runs and four hits in five innings in his only career appearance against Seattle.
LeBlanc, who made 10 appearances for the Angels in 2014, including three starts, hasn’t experienced a defeat in 11 starts this season, and the Mariners are 8-3 in those games.
The Mariners have also found something special in closer Edwin Diaz Marshawn Lynch Jersey , who became the second pitcher in major league history with at least 30 saves and 70 strikeouts before the All-Star break. The other is former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne.
“We’ve had a lot of valuable players on our team,” Seattle manager Scott Servais told reporters after a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. “But winning the close games, it creates the type of atmosphere that’s going on at Safeco Field right now and the city and getting our fan base psyched again.”
Heaney also struggled in his most recent outing, allowing six runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 9-6 loss on Wednesday at the Boston Red Sox, but he did not absorb the loss.
He’s 1-2 in four career starts against the Mariners with a 4.42 ERA.
The Angels lost two more pitchers to injury on their current road trip.
Jake Jewell sustained a broken right fibula against the Red Sox on Wednesday. The rookie right-hander was making his third major-league appearance when he fell awkwardly while trying to cover home plate on a wild pitch. He had surgery on Friday in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, the Angels announced left-hander John Lamb would undergo Tommy John surgery, the fourth pitcher for Los Angeles to have the season-ending surgery this year.
Los Angeles could soon be adding some offensive punch, however.
Shohei Ohtani, the rookie two-way player who is also out with an elbow injury, has been taking live batting practice and running the bases recently, putting him on pace to resume designated hitter duties this week.
“He’s starting to do get through that progression,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told FOX Sports West on Sunday.
Angels first baseman/designated hitter Jefry Marte is also close to returning from a left wrist injury.
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