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Penguins take Game 3 with 3-2 win over Capitals

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Matt Boulton/via flickr.com

NHL

PITTSBURGH-The Washington Capitals struggled against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Consol Energy Center on Monday.

Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik received a three game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday. Orpik hit Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta 4:13 into the first period of Game 2, giving him an upper body injury.

Patric Hornqvist set up in front and perfectly deflected a shot past Braden Holtby to open the scoring in the first period. The Penguins took a 1-0 lead at 6:37. Trevor Daley and Conor Sheary provided the assists on Hornqvist’s fourth playoff goal.

One minute later, Matt Cullen led a two-on-one rush and dished it to Tom Kuhnhackl, who collected the goal after the puck bounced off his numbers and in. Pittsburgh got a 2-0 lead at 7:37. Kris Letang provided the other assist on Kuhnhackl’s lucky goal, his second of the playoffs.

The Penguins led 2-0 after 20 minutes. The Capitals outshot Pittsburgh 14-8.

Nick Bonino sent a beautiful pass around Holtby and through the crease to Carl Hagelin, who chipped the puck in for an insurance goal. The Penguins grabbed a 3-0 lead late in the second period. Phil Kessel provided the other assist on Hagelin’s third playoff goal.

The Penguins led 3-0 after 40 minutes. Shots were still in favor of Washington, who outshot Pittsburgh 28-14.

Neither team was able to capitalize on any of their power play chances.

Washington reduced its deficit to 3-1 at 8:02 of the third period after Matt Niskanen dropped the puck to Alex Ovechkin, who ripped a laser by Matt Murray‘s glove to put the Capitals on the board, scoring his first goal in six games. Nicklas Backstrom provided the other assist on Ovechkin’s fourth playoff goal.

Holtby was pulled, which led to an empty net for Washington.

The Capitals made it a one-goal game, thanks to Justin Williams‘ first playoff goal with 54 seconds remaining. Ovechkin and John Carlson provided the assists on Williams’ empty net goal.

But the Penguins held on for a 3-2 victory over the Capitals in Game 3. Murray made 47 saves for Pittsburgh. Holtby made 20 saves for Washington.

The Penguins lead the series 2-1.

Follow me on Twitter @AnaKieu.

Notes:
Capitals
Injured: None

Scratched: Mike Weber, Michael Latta, Stanislav Galiev
Suspended: Brooks Orpik

Penguins
Injured: Olli Maatta (upper body), Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Kevin Porter (ankle surgery), Scott Wilson (lower body), Beau Bennett (undisclosed)

 Scratched: Derrick Pouliot

Up Next: Game 4 between the Capitals and Penguins is Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET on NBCSN, TVA.

NOTE: This article was written by Ana Kieu.

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