So much for Kevin Shattenkirk being the goat. So much for the Washington Capitals being done for this series.
The Pittsburgh Penguins maintained their run of fighting hard through injuries that would crush lesser teams, in this case with Evgeni Malkin leading an improbable push to overtime in Game 3. It wasn’t enough, however, as Shattenkirk’s 3-2 overtime-clincher decided the contest, shrinking Pittsburgh’s series lead to 2-1.
Injury losses could very well hurt far more than the Game 3 defeat, at least if Sidney Crosby‘s issues are as bad as they appeared. It’s plausible that Crosby suffered a lower-body injury or a head injury (or possibly both) thanks to a controversial cross-check by Matt Niskanen.
Both goalies were sharp for much of the game, whether the Pittsburgh crowd wanted to acknowledge that or not with their “Holt-by!” chants.
It was a nasty contest at times, with Conor Sheary also being knocked from the game, in that case being hit accidentally by teammate Patric Hornqvist. T.J. Oshie may also feel a little sore after this one after a Shattenkirk shot him in the face.
Game 3 presented a ton of ups and downs for each side of the squabble. It only seems fitting that Shattenkirk (a player who’s absorbed a ton of blame) ended up scoring a goal that brought new life to a team that tends to get buried for its playoff letdowns.
This wasn’t the prettiest win, but the Capitals are right back in it. In fact, with injuries to Crosby and more, you could argue that Washington regained “favorite” status.
What a difference a game, an injury and a huge goal can make.
Game 4 is on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.