April 27 (UPI) — The Pittsburgh Penguins scored three goals in 4:49 to beat the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series.
Pittsburgh came away with the 3-2 triumph Thursday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 17 seconds into the game, giving his squad a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series. Neither side netted a score for the remainder of the opening frame or in the second period.
Alex Ovechkin increased the home team’s lead 28 seconds into the third period. He beat Penguins net minder Matt Murray on his glove side, earning the 2-0 edge.
Then the defending Stanley Cup champions mounted their comeback. Patric Hornqvist redirected a Justin Schultz shot into the net past Braden Holtby at 2:29, cutting the deficit in half. Penguins star Sidney Crosby tied the game 2:21 later by sneaking one through Holtby’s five hole after getting a pass from Jake Guentzel.
“Just a big play by Horny to get us going,” Crosby told reporters. “We had some good looks throughout the night. He goes hard at the net and makes a great play and that kinda jumpstarted us. At that point when you are down, I think everybody is on their toes trying to get us back in it.”
The Penguins center made another big play just 2:28 later. Guentzel was standing to the left of the goal on that play. He deflected a Crosby shot just above Holtby’s right shoulder for the go-ahead score.
“We just stuck with it in the third after they scored. We were hoping to get a couple and they came for us,” Guentzel said.
The Penguins and Capitals resume their series at 2 p.m. Sunday in Washington, D.C. The series heads to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.