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Penguins hang on, take lead in series

Capitals right wing Tom Wilson grabs Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in the first period of Game 3.

Associated Press

Capitals right wing Tom Wilson grabs Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in the first period of Game 3.

PITTSBURGH — Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl scored a minute apart in the first period and Matt Murray stopped 47 shots as the Penguins took control of their Eastern Conference semifinal with a 3-2 win over the Capitals in Game 3 on Monday.

Carl Hagelin added his third goal of the playoffs for Pittsburgh, which took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series on another contentious night guaranteed to keep the NHL player safety office busy. Two days after Washington's Brooks Orpik earned a three-game suspension for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh's Olli Maatta, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang took a shot at Capitals forward Marcus Johansson.

Alex Ovechkin and Justin Williams scored in the third, but the Capitals now have a deficit against a franchise they have beaten just once in eight previous playoff meetings.

The Penguins were hardly crisp but turned Washington mistakes into goals while Murray did the rest. The 21-year-old rookie outplayed Vezina Trophy finalist Braden Holtby.

Wearing the same Pittsburgh gold uniforms that team owner Mario Lemieux wore during the club's consecutive Stanley Cup runs in 1991 and 1992 — runs that included victories over Washington — it seemed like old times for the Penguins. The defense in front of Murray was steady even with Derrick Pouliot making his playoff debut replacing Maatta, who is out indefinitely after taking a shot to the head from Orpik.

Penguins 2 1 0 3
Capitals 0 0 2 2

First1, Pittsburgh, Hornqvist 4, (Daley, Sheary), 6:37. 2, Pittsburgh, Kuhnhackl 2 (Cullen, Letang), 7:37. PenaltiesJ.Wiliams, Was (interference), 8:35; Pouliot, Pit (hooking), 10:08; Letang, Pit (interference), 15:41; Winnik, Was (slashing), 18:09; Kessel, Pit (slashing), 19:22.

Second3, Pittsburgh, Hagelin 3 (Bonino, Kessel), 15:03. PenaltyJ.Williams, Was (tripping), 6:30.

Third4, Washington, Ovechkin 4 (Niskanen, Backstrom), 8:02. 5, Washington, J.Williams 1 (Ovechkin, Carlson), 19:04. PenaltyHagelin, Pit (tripping), 13:19. Shots on GoalWashington 14-14-21—49. Pittsburgh 8-6-9—23. Power-play opportunitiesWashington 0 of 4; Pittsburgh 0 of 3. GoaliesWashington, Holtby 5-4 (23 shots-20 saves). Pittsburgh, Murray 5-1 (49-47). A18,601 (16,940). T2:37. RefereesWes McCauley, Francis Charron, Francois St. Laurent. LinesmenBrad Kovachik, Brian Murphy.

Calder finalists: Oilers forward Connor McDavid, Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin were named finalists for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

Rangers: Backup goaltender Antti Raanta agreed to a two-year contract worth $1 million a year, Newsday reported. Raanta, 26, appeared in 25 games with New York this season after being acquired from Chicago in June. He was 11-6-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage while serving as a backup to Henrik Lundqvist.

Penguins hang on, take lead in series 05/02/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2016 11:41pm]
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