The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals were the only game in town on Monday, and they brought it.
When the dust settled, the Pens were able to fend off a late rally attempt and take a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series lead.
Here’s who stood out to us:
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins ran into a red, white and blue buzz saw in Game 3. And then the Capitals ran into Murray. The rookie netminder made 47 saves, including 19 in a third period spent almost entirely in the Pittsburgh end, to steal Game 3. According to the Elias Sports Bureau that was the most saves made by a Penguins goalie in a regulation playoff victory.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
If not for Murray's epic performance, this game gets remembered as one of the greatest Ovechkin ever played. He put everything on the line, leading the way with a goal and an assist, 18 shot attempts and a ruthless commitment to punishing everyone in black and gold (that third period hit on Ian Cole was as brutal—and clean—as any this postseason). A truly dominant performance that deserved a better result.
John Carlson, Washington Capitals
With Brooks Orpik (suspension) out of the lineup, Washington's No. 1 blueliner elevated his game to meet the challenge. He played a game-high 27:59, landed eight shots on net and was on the ice for a staggering 31 shot attempts for compared to just nine against. It might have been the top two-way performance by a defenseman in these playoffs.