Capitals Surge Past Penguins in Thrilling 4-3 Victory

After a dominant Game 2 in D.C., the  Washington Capitals were looking to keep momentum in their favor by locking up a win in Pittsburgh. Going into Game 3, the Caps were heading in confident after the monumental victory on Sunday. But in the coming days of Game 3, Tom Wilson was on the chopping block after a so called “illegal.” The hit was later deemed undangerous and Wilson was clear to play.

In the first period, the game was going back and forth with dirty plays coming from both sides. Early penalties by both Brett Connolly (tripping) and T.J. Oshie (holding) almost cost the Caps an overwhelming deficit, but they dug deep to eventually kill either power plays. The overall play was favoring the Pens, so change was a necessity heading into the 2nd period.

With a power play carried over from the 1st period, John Carlson was able to find the back of the net with a blast, but the lead was short lived when the Pens stormed back and quickly put 2 on the board in a few short minutes after Carlson’s goal. Players on the bench were stunned when the lead was gone before they could blink.

The Penguins’ new enemy, Tom Wilson, struck again with another huge hit on rookie Zach Aston-Reese. Directly after the controversial hit, PPG Paints Arena erupted in boo’s. They were furious with the decision of not giving Wilson a penalty in the slightest. Casually, Wilson gave his iconic smile to the camera. As of May 1, 2018 he has not been given a suspension and the hit will likely be reviewed.

After all the controversy, the Caps responded with an exciting goal from Chandler Stephenson. This was a massive tying goal at the time, giving the team life once again. As expected, the Pens weren’t finished yet. Using his masterful puck handling, Jake Guentzel was able to find Sidney Crosby wide open, giving him an easy look at the net allowing them to claim a 3-2 leading heading into intermission.

Heading into the 3rd period, the momentum was in the Pens favor with the lead. The next goal would end up playing a big role in the victory for the Caps. With a clear shot to net from the blue line, Matt Niskanen was able to slot the puck in the net, a puck that trickled right pass Matt Murray. The atmosphere in the arena immediately shifted.

Heading into the final minutes, the Pens were constantly on the attack, but the Caps were easily managing the storm every time they entered the zone. The ultimate factor in this game was the slip up of the Pens offense, failing to get back on defense after an aggressive possession. Both Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were able to take advantage of the Pens mistakes. Backstrom was able to pass to Ovechkin were he took two whacks and eventually sealing the win.

With this victory, the Capitals have taken a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Thursday (Airing on NBCSN).

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