Scoring three goals including an empty-netter, the Pittsburgh Penguins put in an all-around solid effort to secure a win over rival Washington Capitals.
Penalties but no goals
John Carlson early on was called for hooking at 1:10. The Penguins played well on the opportunity but couldn’t score.
The period ended with no score, with the shots 9-7 in Pittsburgh’s favor. The game seemed pretty even, although with a slight edge to Washington disregarding the penalty. Their scoring chances seemed higher quality.
Evgeni Malkin was called for slashing at 0:37, and in the delayed penalty Matt Murray looked shaken up after a hard Dmitry Orlov shot went off the top of his shoulder. He did, however, stay in the game.
On the power play, the Capitals were unable to convert. They soon found themselves on the other side of things, with a Chandler Stephenson slash at 3:30.
Goals finally came
Jake Guentzel scored the first goal of the game at 9:21. His scoring has been off the charts as he already has 21 points (10-g, 11-a) in just 10 playoff contests. It took him 25 games last season to equal that mark.
He did however turn around and take a tripping penalty at 11:51, and the Capitals used the power play to score. It was T.J. Oshie who put it in the net, on a beautiful pass from Niklas Backstrom at 11:51.
Guentzel took his second penalty of the night, this time for slashing at 14:17. With seven seconds left on the power play, T.J. Oshie headed to the sin bin for tripping.
The Penguins were able to convert on this one, on a long-reviewed goal by Evgeni Malkin. The Washington Capitals challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld. That made the score 2-1.
Goaltender interference calls have been mounting, and this one just added to the total. The NHL needs to address this as calls like these can decide the outcome of a game.
Penguins sealed the deal
Through the third period, the Penguins largely dominated, but ultimately no one was able to score. The Capitals were called for too many men at 18:49 but still pulled their goalie. Jake Guentzel put it in the empty-netter to seal the game.
During the play, T.J. Oshie and Kris Letang got into a scrap and both headed off the ice to receive fighting majors. The game ended with the Penguins on top 3-1.
The Penguins and Capitals both played fairly well, especially defensively with the shots a measly 24-21 in Pittsburgh's favor. All in all, this was another good game in a great series to watch.
Can the Penguins gain momentum from this win, or will the Capitals use their home ice advantage? Let us know down in the comments section below.