Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

Penguins take 3-1 lead over Capitals

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins have the league's best regular-season team on the ropes.

Patric Hornqvist scored 2:34 into overtime to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over the Capitals and a 3-1 lead in the second-round playoff series Wednesday night.

Hornqvist ended up with the puck on his stick when spinning Capitals defenseman Mike Weber essentially passed it to him while trying to intercept the puck as it was headed toward the Washington net. Hornqvist, wide open, shot it through the five hole of goalie Braden Holtby for his first playoff overtime goal.

The Penguins can advance to the Eastern Conference final with a win Saturday in Washington.

Special teams lift Preds: The Predators finally figured out how to shut down the league's best road team and a pretty potent power play. As a result, they have given themselves a chance to tie their second-round series.

Shea Weber scored the go-ahead goal and had an assist, and the host Predators beat the Sharks 4-1 in Game 3 late Tuesday to cut the series deficit to 2-1. The Predators killed four penalties after the Sharks went 3-of-5 on the man advantage in the first two games. Nashville went 2-of-5 on the power play after being 2-of-31 this postseason. The Sharks lost for the first time away from San Jose since a loss at Arizona on March 17.

Attack works for Blues: This time the host Blues knew what to do with a two-goal lead. Go for more, more, more.

Alexander Steen and David Backes had two goals apiece and the defense put the clamps on the Stars in a 6-1 Game 3 victory that put them up 2-1 in the second-round series late Tuesday.

The Blues got their first lopsided triumph of the postseason. Their other five wins were decided by one goal, including 4-3 in overtime in Game 2 after the Stars came from two goals down.

"Last game in the third period, we had a little bit of a letdown, sitting back on our heels, and we made it more of a game than we wanted to be," said Troy Brouwer, who had a goal and an assist. "(Tuesday) we kept pushing, we kept attacking."

Around the league: The Coyotes will 26-year-old John Chayka, making him the youngest general manager in NHL history, reports said. Chayka will replace Don Maloney, who was fired April 11 after nine seasons as GM. Chayka will be younger than Gord Stellick was when he was hired as the Maple Leafs' GM at 30 in 1988. … The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, the Islanders' John Tavares and the Predators' Shea Weber are the finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, given to the player who exemplifies great leadership on and off the ice as chosen by Messier, the Hall of Fame forward and six-time Stanley Cup winner. The winner will be announced June 22.

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