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Round 2

Capitals confident in OT entering Game 4 against Penguins

Washington says it is more comfortable in close games

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- When it comes to overtime in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Washington Capitals don't want to play it safe.

"I think sitting back would be death," forward Jay Beagle said Tuesday. "It's not good to, in a next-goal-wins situation, to sit back and let the team come at you. We kind of learned that in the last couple years, I think, and also during the season."

The Capitals' aggressiveness served them well again in a 3-2 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round here on Monday.


[RELATED: Complete Capitals vs. Penguins series coverage]


They trail the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Six of Washington's nine games in the playoffs have gone to overtime, and the Capitals have won four of them. Coach Barry Trotz credits their recent overtime success to their new approach.

"We came out with the intent of winning that hockey game and that's a great mindset to have," Trotz said of Game 3 against Pittsburgh. "I've been in some playoff games the last couple years in overtime and they didn't quite have that feeling. We go in the playoffs now in overtime and it's just a different feeling. You're not scared of it. You're actually embracing it and going after it."

Pittsburgh scored two goals in 48 seconds in the final two minutes of the third period Monday to tie the game. Marcus Johansson drew a penalty in overtime for Washington, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored at 3:13.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Shattenkirk nets PPG for OT win

Since 2007-08, the Capitals have lost 17 of 31 playoff games in overtime, the most of any NHL team. Last year, their season ended in overtime against the Penguins in Game 6 of the second round, and in 2015 they were eliminated in overtime by the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the second round.

All six of the Capitals' first-round games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and two of their second-round games against Pittsburgh have been one-goal games. Washington defeated Toronto three times in overtime, including Games 5 and 6 to win the series.

"We're trying to attack the game a little more," Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "We have a lot of experience in the overtime games this season, so it gives us a little bit of confidence knowing that you can go into a game and knowing that you can come out and win in big-time situations, as a playoff overtime game is."

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