Three Stars: Penguins’ Daley steps up in Game 4
Another playoff game went to overtime on Wednesday night.
Patric Hornqvist pounced on a careless clearing attempt and beat Braden Holtby at 2:34 of overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3–2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series.
Pittsburgh leads Washington in the series 3–1.
Here’s who stood out to us:
Trevor Daley, Penguins
Whatever else Jim Rutherford does as the Penguins' general manager, he may never top the deal that brought Daley to Pittsburgh in exchange for Rob Scuderi. The speedy blueliner, so good throughout these playoffs, turned in his best game yet when the Pens needed it most. With Kris Letang out (suspension), Daley chewed up a team-high 28:41 (including 2:43 on the power play and 2:12 shorthanded), scored Pittsburgh’s opening goal after a five-man passing play and finished a +3 to lead the Pens to a 3–2 overtime win in Game 4.
Matt Cullen, Penguins
Cullen turned back the clock with his tireless two-way effort on Wednesday night. The 39-year-old fourth liner was the most effective center on either side tonight, using his speed and desire to make an impact at both ends of the ice. He beat Holtby through the five hole for Pittsburgh’s second goal after blowing past Nicklas Backstrom’s soft coverage. He almost added another moments later on a two-on-one bid, but his shot rang off the crossbar after beating Holtby. He also went 14–11 on the draw and registered a team-high two takeaways.
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
If everyone in white delivered an effort that matched their captain’s, Game 4 would have been a blowout win for Washington. Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet but was a constant presence in all three zones. He finished the night with seven shots on 10 attempts—three of those coming after he’d undressed multiple Penguins defenders—and three hits. He also delivered a pretty nice slash on Sidney Crosby late in the game that would have made Bobby Clarke proud.