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Highlights of Wednesday's National Hockey League games
20 April 2017, 06:18 | Charlene Valdez
Preds beat Chicago 3-2, push Hawks to brink of elimination
Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian, bottom center, celebrates after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, April 16, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. The Predators have never won the first three games of any playoff series, and they got here by outscoring the Western Conference's No. 1 seed 9-2.
After allowing two quick goals by Washington forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin in the first five minutes of the game and trailing by 3-1 for the majority of the second period, Toronto bounced back with goals from rookies Connor Brown and William Nylander in the final minutes of the second frame. Fifteen minutes throughout the entire game is not enough.
Oshie got the first one for the Caps when he capitalized on a Nate Schmidt point shot sent purposefully wide of the net.
Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Lars Eller and Dmitry Orlov at 13:41 in the 2nd period. "A huge shift from (Kadri)". Kadri quickly moved the puck to the Morgan Rielly on the blue line. He felt it inch a tick higher with the Game 2 win in double-overtime behind the second of two goals from another rookie, Kasperi Kapanen.
Oshie notched his first of the playoffs at 2:58, converting a rebound from the low slot.
Not one of the Capitals, Senators, Blackhawks, or Flames could hold leads of two goals or more. The unit stood tall again a short while later when the club was called for too many men. But once again, the home team killed the penalty. But a truly deep run, the kind this group hasn't yet enjoyed, probably won't come unless each and every player learns to love what's being expected of them - which is excellent hockey for close to 60 minutes every time they take the ice.
Boston has a chance to even up the series in front of its home crowd on Wednesday, though the thought of heading back to Ottawa with a 3-1 series lead will be pretty enticing for the Senators. You know he's never going to go away, and you never know what language he is talking to you in, either.
Not only have the Blues successfully screened goaltender Devan Dubnyk, but the Wild have done little to distract Blues goalie Jake Allen, who has stopped 114 of those 117 shots. The Maple Leafs scored the first goal in each of the first two games of the series. The next line over the boards was Matthews, Nylander and Hyman, all without a point through about nine periods when OT was factored in.
James van Riemsdyk thought Washington may have made some tweaks to slow the Leafs down through the neutral zone.
We can spend all day breaking down the minutiae of tactics - and if this keeps up, all terrestrial TV and radio will soon be dedicated to that exercise - but the only meaningful factor at play is pressure. Crawford got a glove on a puck almost midway through the extra period off Fiala's shot from the high slot. "We played our system to a T. We weathered the storm early and just stuck with it and made good on our chance in the third". The record for an entire postseason is 17 overtime games in 2013.
The Leafs started overtime on the power play and it would not take long for the league's second-best power play in the regular season (and best of the playoff teams) to get the job done.
Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May still believes that if the Capitals, who trail the Maple Leafs two games to one in the first round of the Stanley Cupplayoffs, win Game 4 on Wednesday in Toronto, Washington will come back to win the series.
In their first series since 1951 to open with three overtimes - anyone heard of Bill Barilko? - the victor came from veteran Tyler Bozak on the power-play at 1:37. The hosts also outshot the Capitals 28-26.
Hyman drew the power play late in regulation on the goal that Bozak scored in overtime to win it. Seven of the first 24 games have featured a blown lead of two goals or more, 11 have gone to overtime and winning goals have come from some of the unlikeliest of sources.
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