Throughout the first round and the first couple games of the second round the Pens defense looked to have held their own, but the last two games they look to be on the decline and losing momentum. This defense looks to slow to close scoring and passing lanes and the Capitals forwards are looking like they’ve found a way through this defense.
Now I believe this defense can still be good enough to make it to the Stanley Cup but the loss of Kris Letang and Trevor Daley seems to be hurting right now as they are lacking speed and toughness. This defense now looks passive as the Capitals are keeping the puck in the Pens zone for long periods of time and at some points the Caps look like they are on the power play and passing the puck around with ease.
I think if this defense has a good game left it needs to show tonight in front of the home crowd and with the great goaltending of Fleury that should give them enough momentum to start off with. Also the defense needs to bring the physicality in this game and not be afraid to get in front of pucks and lower a shoulder on a Caps forward. This unit can still to do the job I believe they just have to show it, one last time in Washington tonight.