NHL: Stanley Cup playoffs three stars - Penguins prove mettle against Capitals

Even without Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins still got the better of the Washington Capitals.

Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Penguins prove mettle against Capitals

Even without Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins still got the better of the Washington Capitals.

The undermanned Pittsburgh Penguins moved a step closer to advancing in the NHL playoffs, while the Anaheim Ducks won in overtime.

Without the likes of Sidney Crosby, Conor Sheary, Kris Letang and Matt Murray, the Penguins stunned the Washington Capitals 3-2 to take a 3-1 series lead on Wednesday.

The fully healthy Capitals, back-to-back winners of the Presidents' Trophy, have run out of excuses.

Alex Ovechkin has not scored a goal since game one and mustered but two shots on goal this time.

Braden Holtby, who next month might become a consecutive Vezina Trophy winner, faced only 18 shots but allowed three goals.

Meanwhile, the Ducks drew level in their series against the Edmonton Oilers thanks to a 4-3 OT win.

Three stars

Jake Guentzel, Penguins – Guentzel scored the Pens' second goal and assisted on their third as he continues to score at an an almost unprecedented rate for a rookie in his first postseason. The 22-year-old has 12 points in nine games. His eight goals lead all playoff scorers, making him the first rookie to score that many in his first nine playoff games since Maurice Richard in 1944.

Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks – Getzlaf has been a force to be reckoned with all playoffs but that was especially true in Anaheim's latest victory. He scored twice – the first two-goal game out of 112 in his playoff career – and added two assists, including the helper on Jakob Silfverberg's overtime winner. The captain also passed Teemu Selanne to become the Ducks' all-time postseason goals leader with 36.

Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins – Fleury stood on his head and that is the main reason Pittsburgh won. Plain and simple. He has faced 142 shots in the second round and has stopped all but eight.


Drake Caggiula's goal with one minute, 42 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime, but a red-hot Silfverberg wasted little time tying the series with his seventh goal of the playoffs just 44 seconds into the extra frame. Silfverberg has five goals in the series with at least one in all four games against the Oilers.

Thursday's game to watch

Game four: Rangers at Senators – The Rangers finally looked like the Rangers that had 103 regular-season points in game three, scoring at will and getting top-notch goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Question is, will it carry over? Ottawa once again have a chance to put a stranglehold on the series, which they lead 2-1.

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