Everything that happened in Game 1 reinforced that notion.
Malkin was Pittsburgh's leading scorer this season with 42 goals and 56 assists in 78 games, and Washington got another opportunity when Malkin's undisclosed lower-body injury kept him out of Game 2, too.
The Caps-Penguins series resumes with Game 3 Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
For all the criticism of the NHL's divisional playoff format, this year's second-round series are loaded with compelling matchups.
Rollver is 10x deposit + bonus. In the Western Conference, we have the Vegas Golden Knights vs. the San Jose Sharks, two teams that swept their first-round opponents, and the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Nashville Predators, the teams with the two best records in the Western Conference.
Another controversial moment overshadowed the game as well: Capitals forward Tom Wilson's hit on Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, which ended Dumoulin's night just 4:26 into the second period. During the regular season, he was 34-20 with a 2.99 GAA and a.907 save percentage overall, including 22-9 with a 2.41 GAA and a.921 save percentage here at home. The Washington Capitals haven't lost on the road since March 18 and outscored the Columbus Blue Jackets 13-6 in three road playoff games.
The Caps will continue to lean on the offensive production from Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.More news: Cubs take series from Brewers; Top five prospects — Chicago Cubs News
But after mounting another two-goal lead and this time building on it instead of blowing it, the Washington Capitals made sure it wasn't close enough for one questionable call either way to make a difference.
The main issue right now is the Caps have to figure out what to do in net.
Pekka Rinne faced 50 shots in the Nashville net, and he stopped 46 of them. That's a lousy.880 save percentage. Washington's offense is often the focal point of various hockey circles, but its defense will be the real story if they're serious about winning the series.
Washington has managed 10.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.2 takeaways per game (ranked 14th). They better sort this out.
For that, the Capitals can thank a dearth of available camera angles, yes, but also a group-wide resiliency that helped them rebound from a demoralizing Game 1 loss in which they bumbled away a two-goal lead for the third time this postseason.
There may have been some fear and trepidation on the Washington bench, but this time head coach Barry Trotz's team would hold on to the lead and even added an empty-net goal.
The other important element here is that the Pens got a strong effort out of Matt Murray. Penguins players were adamant that it was a goal. They released a statement regarding the decision and said "video review determined that there were no definitive replays which showed that the puck completely crossed the Washington goal line".