Stanley Cup Playoffs: Ovechkin nets game-winner, Capitals beat Penguins

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Ovechkin nets game-winner, Capitals beat Penguins

May 2 (UPI) — Alex Ovechkin stole a move from Sidney Crosby, scoring the Washington Capitals’ game-winner in Game 3 of their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ovechkin netted the score with 1:07 remaining in the 4-3 win Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Capitals trailed 3-2 entering the third period.

“It’s huge, huge goal,” Ovechkin told reporters.

“Obviously for our team, you know we want to win tonight and we did. It doesn’t matter what, it doesn’t matter who scored. We sacrifice. We play hard. And we have to do the same moving forward.”

Neither team could find the net in the opening frame, as Braden Holtby and Matt Murray stood strong between the pipes.

Washington was quick to go ahead in the second period. John Carlson lit the lamp just 48 seconds into the frame. Jake Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist added second-period scores to give the home team the advantage. But Chandler Stephenson tied it up again 11:04 into the period.

Sidney Crosby found the net with 3:33 remaining in the bridge stanza, giving the Penguins a 3-2 edge.

Dmitry Orlov found Matt Niskanen out near the blue line 5:06 into the third period. Niskanen pelted a shot toward the Penguins’ net. The laser shot bounced off of Murray and fell into the net behind the keeper, tying the score at 3-3.

Murray kept the Capitals out of the scoring column for the next 13 minutes, before Ovechkin broke through. The NHL’s leading goal-scorer was on a two-one-own breakaway with teammate Nicklas Backstrom very late in the final period. Backstrom skated all the way to the left side of the net, before sliding the puck over to Ovechkin at the far post.

Ovechkin’s first attempt was stonewalled by Murray. But the puck flipped up in the air and the Capitals star managed to keep his stick up and tap it into the goal. The move was very similar to what Crosby has done multiple times this season, using his stick to juggle the puck around opposing goaltenders.

The Capitals hold a 2-1 advantage in the Stanley Cup playoff series. Game 4 starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh.