The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their series to 3-1 over the Washington Capitals thanks to a Patric Hornqvist overtime goal on Wednesday night at CONSOL Energy Center to win 3-2.
Washington started off the scoring in the first period on Jay Beagle’s second goal of the playoffs at 2:58. Beagle received a cross-corner feed from Tom Wilson and backhanded the puck top-shelf on goaltender Matt Murray’s blocker side.
Pittsburgh would get a friendly bounce of their own when defenseman Trevor Daley shot a puck off of Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, trickled along the ice, and found its way into the net at 9:16 of the same frame.
In the second period, the black and gold took the lead when Matt Cullen beat goaltender Braden Holtby five-hole at 3:07 to make the score 2-1. Tom Kuhnhackl tipped the puck into the zone after a face-off win, and Cullen sprung free for the goal.
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The Capitals found a way to tie it at two apiece when John Carlson scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 16:19. Forward Justin Williams stripped the puck from Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot and fed the puck over to Carlson, who ripped the biscuit high-glove.
In less than three minutes into overtime, Hornqvist sealed the win after collecting the loose change and depositing it into the net. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin kept the play alive with a nice play at the blue line, fed it over to forward Conor Sheary, Sheary shot it at Capitals defender Mike Weber, lost the puck, and ended up in the net.
Defense Stepped Up
Without the services of blue liner Kris Letang due to a suspension, the defense stepped up their efforts to shut down the Capitals. It all started with Daley taking on responsibility to play well with additional minutes on his plate.
Penguins Top Line Outplayed Capitals Top Line
Pittsburgh’s top line produced two goals to Washington’s zero goals. The Penguins are getting a lot of depth scoring, but the top line makes the team run. They were fast, able to cash in on their chances, and played smart hockey. They were a huge reason why the series is 3-1 in favor of the black and gold.
Matt Murray stepped up once again
The 21 year old net minder continued to make timely saves to give the Penguins a chance to win the game. Even though the first goal he gave up was one he would like to have back, he was solid the rest of the way when the Capitals threw the kitchen sink at him. He has continued to be a stable backbone in goal, and he is one win away from eliminating the Presidents’ Trophy winners. He will have to play his best game on Saturday when the Penguins travel to Washington, D.C., for game five, which starts at 7:15 pm.