Washington Capitals show heart in Game 3 win over Pittsburgh Penguins

May 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Washington Capitals celebrate a game winning goal by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Washington Capitals celebrate a game winning goal by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game three of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Shattenkirk scored in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

The Washington Capitals found themselves up 1-0 after 20 minutes. However, they also were without their top defenseman Matt Niskanen. Barry Trotz’s decision to play Karl Alzner as a seventh defenseman wound up being a huge decision because of this. Without their top defenseman, the Caps played a resilient game. While they nearly blew it in the end, Kevin Shattenkirk scored in overtime to ensure them a 3-2 win.

Nicklas Backstrom gave the Caps a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power play goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead in the second period. However, the Penguins didn’t give up. Two goals in the last two minutes of the game by Justin Schultz and Evgeni Malkin tied the game at two.

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At this point, the Washington Capitals could have quit. But instead, they went out and won. Niskanen missed most of the game because of an unfortunate hit to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. It looked terrible, so hopefully the Pens captain is alright.

Niskanen should have been given a minor at worst for the play. It looks a lot worse in slow motion, but it’s clear he wasn’t targeting his head. Crosby falls down, which causes the head contact. If anything, Alex Ovechkin is the one who should be getting the blame. Niskanen had this to say about the hit.

“Absolutely not. It wasn’t intentional. I’ve seen the replay. In super slowmo, it looks really bad. I caught him high.”

Braden Holby, aside from the final two minutes of regulation, played outstanding. After a rough Game 2, this is a very good sign for him. The Caps now face an important Game 4 on Wednesday as they try to even the series.