Down but not out, the Caps marched into Pittsburgh on Monday night and came out with a 3-2 win in OT. The victory wasn’t boring and your nerves are probably frayed, but the Caps are right back in this series.
Kevin Shattenkirk, who has looked shaky since early in Round One, found the back of the net on the PP it OT to give the Caps the win to cap off a wild night. Sidney Crosby left the game and didn’t return after taking a blow to the head from Matt Niskanen, Nick Backstrom scored a weird goal, and Evgeny Kuznetsov finished off a play that showed passing and patience work sometimes, and the guy who yells “SHOOOOOOOT” isn’t always right.
After dominating shot attempts in the first two games, Game Three was more even, as the Caps out-attempted the Pens 45-35. What a difference a bounce here or there and strong goaltending can make.
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) May 2, 2017
Capitals completely stopped trying after Kuzetsov goal. One day (presumably on the day of my death) teams will learn. pic.twitter.com/TUeWVLQtxx
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) May 2, 2017
Dmitry Orlov. Playing away from his usual defensive partner, Orlov didn’t miss a beat. His plus-eight on-ice shot attempt differential was first among all Caps defensemen and second only to TJ Oshie among all Caps skaters. He also tied for the lead among all defensemen with five shot attempts.
Without Niskanen around, Orlov mostly skated with Kevin Shattenkirk, as the duo shared the ice for 8:04.
After Game Two, Barry Trotz said he thought his third line was one of the bright spots. Well, it didn’t earn them much ice time tonight. On a night when the Caps only dressed 11 forwards, Andre Burakovsky (9:11) and Lars Eller (12:32) brought up the rear in ice time. While it’s true they’ve been unable to turn their dominant puck possession into much production, hopefully the third line getting fourth line minutes is an aberration, not a trend.
Headline image: Gregory Shamus
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