2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Three

Doughty on Game 3 difference: “5 on 3 PK did it”

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The New Jersey Devils went 0-for-6 on the power play through the first two games of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, prompting Ilya Kovalchuk to call it embarrassing. The Los Angeles Kings didn’t help them save face in Game 3, either, making them go 0-for-6 in that game itself, with the most memorable span coming when they killed off a big 5-on-3 chance when it was 0-0.

While Darryl Sutter credited the Kings’ penalty kill as a whole, Drew Doughty simply told John Hoven about the turning point of Game 3:

“The 5-on-3 PK did it,” Doughty said.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer essentially agreed when asked if that sequence was “the difference.”

“Yeah, I mean sure,” DeBoer said. “We need to get the first goal out, absolutely. We had some power play opportunities there. We need to score one. Credit to them. You know, their goalie made some big saves early. We couldn’t get one.”

DeBoer discussed the mounting frustration of dealing with the Kings’ PK.

“The frustrating part is you’re creating some quality chances, you’re getting some quality shots and they’re not going in,” DeBoer said. “Again, you have to handle that frustration the right way.”

Although New Jersey received more power play opportunities in the series so far, it might be worth noting that the Kings didn’t score on the man advantage until late in Game 3. In some ways, that’s another tablespoon of salt in the Devils’ wounds, yet it also shows that PP dominance isn’t necessarily the catalyst for playoff success. (See also: the 2011 Boston Bruins.)

Still, Ilya Kovalchuk & Co. generated 12 power play goals through the first three rounds, so it’s clear that has been some part of their postseason success up until the Stanley Cup finals. The Devils have scored just two goals in these three games – again, none on the PP – so they need to find answers fast.

What would you do to try to solve the Kings’ PK puzzle, then?

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.