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Washington Capitals end Philadelphia Flyers’ six-game winning streak, take top spot in East

Rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky did a heck of a job merely getting the Philadelphia Flyers into overtime, but eventually the high-powered Washington Capitals’ power play was too much for him. Mike Green scored a power-play goal in overtime to give the Capitals the win, powering them to a narrow lead over the Flyers for the top spot in the East Conference.

Washington 3, Philadelphia 2 (OT)

The Flyers managed to snag three out of four points in two hard-fought back-to-back contests with the Islanders and Capitals, but they might kick themselves a bit for losing this one. They squandered two one goal leads and were out-shot in each period as they lost for the first time after reeling off six straight wins.

Washington is on quite the hot streak themselves, winning six out of their last seven matches as they clearly rekindled the positive energy from their Presidents Trophy winning 2009-10 season. Three of those six wins happened in overtime or shootout, indicating that this team is really rising to the occasion right now. The best part might be that they’re doing so well against tough opponents, as they foiled hot goalies in Boston (Tim Thomas) and Philadelphia (Bobrovsky).

While Bobrovsky is garnering some serious Calder Trophy attention, he was bested by the Capitals’ barely known other rookie goalie: Braden Holtby. He is now 2-0 since he earned a win after relieving Michal Neuvirth in a win over the Boston Bruins.

Green extended his goal scoring streak to four games while Alexander Semin earned his team-leading ninth goal and Eric Fehr also notched a nice one for the Capitals.  Nicklas Backstrom earned two assists while Alex Ovechkin assisted on one goal. Meanwhile, Ville Leino and Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Flyers.

As Joe pointed out earlier today, the Flyers and Capitals are developing an intriguing under the radar rivalry. Was this game a possible preview of the Eastern Conference finals? We’ll have to wait and see, but such a series could be awfully entertaining.

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

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Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

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Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.