It was quite a night in Pittsburgh as the Penguins took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 win over Washington despite the Capitals controlling the play most of the game.
It was the only game on the NHL slate so let’s get to it.
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PITTSBURGH 3 WASHINGTON 2 (Pittsburgh leads series 2-1)
Boy! Matt Murray is so good. I have been touting him since mid-January of 2015 when I touted him as the Penguins goalie of the future and the future appears to be now.
Murray kicked out 47 shots as he stole a game from the Washington Capitals.
Washington outshot Pittsburgh 49-23 but could not put the puck past Murray until the 8:02 mark of the third period to cut the Penguins lead to 3-1.
Carl Hagelin scored the eventual winner in the second frame as Murray stopped 28 shots in the first two periods.
It was Alex Ovechkin who broke the shutout bid of Murray’s, with a laser wrist shot into the top corner. Ovechkin struggled early on but must have been listening to Don Cherry as Cherry went on and on about how poorly Ovie was playing and not getting involved.
It was the Ovechkin of old in the final two periods as he was hitting everything that moved with nine hits and had seven shots on goal.
He picked up the assist on Justin Williams first of the playoffs as Williams knocked in an easy rebound from an Ovechkin point shot with 56 seconds left in the game but the Capitals were unable to get any closer.
Braden Holtby stopped only 20 shots in the loss. It was thought that the Capitals would have a decided advantage in net with Holtby, the likely Vezina Trophy winner, facing the rookie Murray but it has been anything but that.
Kris Letang should be facing a suspension for his first period hit on the Capitals Marcus Johansson. He was called for interference. Johansson left the game but returned and also had nine hits as the Capitals outhit the Penguins 58-25.
Letang led both teams with five blocked shots.
Nick Bonino continues to impress offensively as he picked up his eighth assist of the playoffs and is tied with Evgeni Malkin for the Penguins lead in points with nine. The total is also tied for eighth in NHL scoring and if you picked up Bonino in your playoff pool, you really were not expecting this.
Sidney Crosby has yet to pick up a point in his first three games of the series.
Bryan Rust suffered a lower body injury in the first period and did not return.