Guentzel pulls Penguins even with Caps

Caps' Wilson hit with three-game ban

Braden Holtby allowed two goals on 23 shots in Thursday's 3-1 Game 4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mike Sullivan knows his team is "wired" for offense, as tends to happen when you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and - increasingly - Jake Guentzel on your roster. Guentzel also helped Washington get back in it, however, by immediately committing a pair of penalties outside his own zone, the first of which resulted in a power-play goal for the Capitals. He scored his tenth goal of the playoffs while on a power play, draining an empty netter from out near the blue line. Given how critical Guentzel's scoring has been, Penguins fans will easily forgive and forget his boneheaded penalties.

Maybe, but the chippiness that has come to define a rivalry that's equal parts heated and one-sided - the Penguins have won nine of 10 playoff meetings with Washington - ramped up in Game 3 with Wilson once again in the middle of it. It was his team-leading ninth goal of the postseason, and he added his 10th later. I got so mad because it's a good chance to score, but after, there's a replay and it's in. That was the Penguins' 24th and final shot. I don't think he can approach games differently.

The Penguins, who trail the series 2-1, thought otherwise. Game 5 in the best-of-seven set is Saturday in Washington. He was not disciplined for a blindside hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin in Game 2 that forced Dumoulin to go through the NHL's concussion protocol.

Somewhat amusingly, Malkin's power-play goal didn't need to stand up to the scrutiny of proving that the puck was indeed over the line.

"A deflected puck", says Holtby, in recounting the game-winner and the reasoning behind the review, "It was on top of my pad, and [Pens winger Patric] Hornqvist was whacking my pad, not even close to the puck". "I was trying to make a smart play by taking away their [defenseman's] stick, and it ended up being a dumb play by clipping his skate there".

It wasn't initially called a goal, but the officials reviewed it and got the call right.

"Trust me, Ovie will get his shots", Trotz said.

Ovechkin stayed with it and his baseball-like swat gave him eight goals in the playoffs and the Capitals their fourth consecutive road win in the postseason.

Game 4 is scheduled for Friday in Pittsburgh. I think we're building a belief that we can beat these guys. According to the Department of Player Safety, reverse angles of the hit showed Aston-Reese's head snapped back in a manner consistent with other hits where the head was the main point of contact, and that his injuries would indicate that the head was the main point of contact as well.

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