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Instant analysis: Capitals at Penguins, Game 3

Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray keeps cool, Washington doesn't

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Consol Energy Center on Monday. The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Penguins rookie goaltender Matt Murray made 47 saves and is 5-1 in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins got goals one minute apart from Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhakl to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Carl Hagelin added his second goal of the series with 4:57 left in the second period to make it 3-0.

Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the series on a wrist shot from above the left circle 8:02 into the third period to bring the Capitals within 3-1. Justin Williams made it 3-2 with 55.1 remaining and Braden Holtby on the bench for an extra attacker.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Murray denies Carlson with slick glove

What we learned: Murray, 21, is playing with a maturity and a calmness that exceeds his age, helping him negate the Capitals' 49-23 advantage in shots on goal. Murray, who has allowed three goals on 73 shots over the past two games, is making it an easy decision for Penguins coach Mike Sullivan to stick with him over veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, who returned from a concussion to dress as the backup Monday.

The Capitals were able to dictate the style of play more with their puck possession game, but made costly mistakes that the opportunistic Penguins turned into goals. They also lost their composure and appeared more concerned at times with going after Penguins defenseman Kris Letang after his high hit on Marcus Johansson in the first period than trying to come back in the game.

What this means for the Capitals: The Presidents' Trophy winners trail in a series for the first time in this postseason after dropping the past two games. They'll need to respond to this adversity better than they did to Letang's hit on Johansson.

What this means for the Penguins: The Penguins played better in the first two games, but capitalized on their chances. With the Capitals appearing frustrated, the Penguins are in position to take a commanding lead in the series in Game 4 on Wednesday.

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Hornqvist tips opening goal by Holtby

Key moment: The Capitals got off to the good start they wanted in outshooting the Penguins 6-1 early, but a momentary letdown cost them on Hornqvist's goal 6:37 into the game. After Karl Alzner blocked Sidney Crosby's backhand from between the circles, the puck popped up in the air and the Capitals stood around and could not locate it.

Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary tracked it down near the bottom of the right circle and fed Trevor Daley for a straight-on point shot that Hornqvist deflected down and past Holtby for a 1-0 lead.

Unsung player of the game: Penguins center Nick Bonino had another strong game, setting up Hagelin's goal from in front that made it 3-0. After Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt turned over the puck, Phil Kessel fed Bonino alone in front, where he stickhandled around Holtby before feeding Hagelin.

What's next: Game 4 is Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The Penguins will go for their third consecutive victory.

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