Washington Capitals (60-21-10) at Pittsburgh Penguins (56-22-12)
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 3, 2017, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins +104 / Washington Capitals -115 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Washington Capitals look to even the series and head back to the Verizon Center at two games apiece as they face off with the Pittsburgh Penguins in game four action on Wednesday night.
The Capitals netted a huge 3-2 overtime victory against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night to play their way back into the series and now they have a shot at retaking home ice advantage if they can earn the two game sweep on the road on Thursday night. The Caps held a 2-0 lead late in the third period but the Pens scored two goals with the goalie pulled to draw even and if not for a penalty in overtime they perhaps could have pulled off the come back and taken a 3-0 series lead but a Kevin Shattenkirk goal kept Washington’s playoff hopes alive and sets up a huge game tonight. Washington will stick with Braden Holtby who was excellent in game three as he will match up against Marc-Andre Fleury who has shown glimpses of brilliance and will need a big effort tonight if the Penguins are going to get the victory.
The Pens meanwhile are without their captain and superstar centre as Sidney Crosby was roughed up by Alex Ovechkin and Matt Niskanen in the early stages of the first period and with yet another concussion to his resume it is unsure when the Hart Trophy nominee will be back in the Pittsburgh lineup. The Pens do have a very deep crop of forwards and will lean heavily on Evegni Malkin and Phil Kessel but there is no denying that the Penguins will miss Crosby as he is the best player in the league and had been playing some of his best playoff hockey in his career. Pittsburgh will need to keep the Washington offense at bay, which they have done a good job of so far, and play to a low scoring game as they can ill afford a shootout here with Crosby sitting in the infirmary.
The Caps are 6-1 in their last seven road games and 8-2 in their last 10 against the Metro while the Pens are 6-2 in their last eight overall and 44-17 in their last 61 against the Metro. The loss of Crosby is huge and I think the Caps take advantage as they get a big win here and head back to the Verizon Center tied at two.