The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.
Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.
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Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Washington at Pittsburgh - Game 3
1:23 into the game, a freakish bounce of the end boards on a dump-in by the Caps' Mike Green
during a Pittsburgh line change turned into gold for the Caps.
With Marc-Andre Fleury
leaving his net to play the puck but dropping his stick, the puck hit off an angle of the boards, then Fleury's dropped stick, and then to -- who else? -- a streaking Alex Ovechkin
. The Hart Trophy candidate pounced on the puck, blasting it into the vacated Pittsburgh net for a quick 1-0 Caps lead and quieting the Mellon Arena crowd.
The Pens came out from the dressing room after the first intermission on fire and were bombarding the Capitals goal.
On a mini 2-on-1, Ruslan Fedotenko
attempted a pass across the front of the net to Maxime Talbot
, but the pass deflected off the defending Caps player and popped right back to the Pittsburgh left winger. The momentum of the deflected pass caught Simeon Varlamov out of position and Fedotenko was able to sail the puck right by the Washington goaltender to even up the score.
The Pens would end the period outshooting the Capitals 15-4 and would be in a position to start the second period once again with the extra man.
The game was still tied at 1-1 with 5:50 left in the third period when Evgeni Malkin
drew a hooking penalty on Alexander Semin
to give the Penguins a sixth straight power play opportunity
Pittsburgh cycled the puck through the Caps zone before Malkin again became the difference maker, shooting a wrister from the high slot past Simeon Varlamov for the go-ahead goal. Malkin's first tally in five games seemed to be what would give the Penguins victory in Game 3.
Given a power play with just 2:28 left in the game, the Capitals took full advantage of the opportunity to force overtime. Alexander Semin
gathered the puck along the left half wall and fired a quick shot/pass in front.
After Alex Ovechkin
couldn't put it home, the puck bounced to a waiting Niklas Backstrom
, who flicked the puck off Marc-Andre Fleury
's rear-end into the open net, tying the game at 2-2.
The endgame for Pittsburgh came following a frenzied overtime where the Pens buzzed in the Caps' zone for most of the time.
After Simeon Varlamov covered up the puck after Evgeni Malkin
just missed a long pass that would have given him a breakaway, Sidney Crosby
won the ensuing faceoff. The puck found its way back to the left point, where Kris Letang
unleashed a 58-foot slapshot, which bounced off a Washington defender behind Varlamov for a 3-2 Penguins victory.
FINAL SCORE: Penguins 3, Capitals 2 (OT)