PITTSBURGH -- It was a reversal of fortunes for the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Monday.
In possibly their best game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Capitals put 49 shots on the Penguins net, but goalie Matt Murray turned away all but two of them.
"We haven't played in the postseason yet like we have tonight," Washington forward T.J. Oshie said. "I think we played really good. We were winning battles. We were playing great. "
The Penguins won 3-2 and leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is in Pittsburgh on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Video: Johansson on Letang hit, Caps talk Gm3 effort
In Game 1, the Penguins had 45 shots on goal to the Capitals' 35, but Washington won 4-3 in overtime.
"Almost reverse of Game 1," Oshie said. "It seemed like maybe they got the best of us Game 1, and we came out with the win."
The Capitals looked as if they were ready to get the best of the Penguins from the start of Game 3, outshooting Pittsburgh 14-8 in the first period, but ended up trailing by two goals entering the second.
"We were down two goals," Washington forward Justin Williams said. "That's the way it goes. It's not always going to be roses and grapes all the time. You're going to have to battle through bad calls, bad breaks, everything. It's playoff time."
Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Ovi snipes one from above the circle
Third-period goals by Williams and captain Alex Ovechkin made a comeback look possible for the Capitals. Finally, it seemed, the bounces were going their way, but they were unable to get the tying goal by Murray.
Minutes after the final buzzer sounded, the Capitals were a hopeful bunch, confident that the effort they put forth in Game 3 will lead to success in the next game.
Like Oshie, most Capitals called it the best game they've played during the 2016 postseason. Some recalled Games 4 and 5 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, when they were stonewalled by goalie Michal Neuvirth before breaking through in Game 6 to win the series.
That's the Capitals' mindset going into Game 4: Keep pushing and playing the way we should and things will turn our way.
Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Williams scores after Ovi hits post
"We did a lot of things better [in Game 3], but we can do them even better now," Williams said.
That formula worked once already for the Capitals. They are confident it will again.
"I think we're very positive in here and we take those good feelings and the positive energy, the things we did right, we multiply those and get better in a couple areas," Oshie said. "I think we're sharp right now and we've got to keep going."