Pittsburgh: Jake Guentzel scored twice to push his play-off total to a league-leading ten and Matt Murray stopped 20 shots as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 in Game 4 to even their tense Eastern Conference semi-final on Thursday night.
Evgeni Malkin added his fourth goal of the playoffs for Pittsburgh as the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions pushed back following a chaotic Game 3 that included an illegal hit by Washington forward Tom Wilson that led to a three-game suspension.
T.J. Oshie scored for the Capitals, but Washington struggled to find much operating room. Alex Ovechkin failed to register a shot on goal for just the third time in 107 career playoff games. Braden Holtby finished with 21 saves but couldn’t quite get a handle on Malkin’s belly-flop shot attempt late in the second period that put Pittsburgh in front to stay.
Game 5 is on Saturday night in Washington.
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Pekka Rinne made 32 saves while P.K. Subban and Ryan Hartman found the net to help Nashville stifle Winnipeg’s high-powered offence to even their second-round series through four games with a 2-1 win.
Patrik Laine scored off a faceoff in the final minute, but Nashville’s Nick Bonino won two key faceoffs after that to clinch the result.
Game 5 will be on Saturday in Nashville, with Game 6 set for Winnipeg on Monday. Game 7, if necessary, would be in Nashville next Thursday.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots, but Nashville snapped Winnipeg’s 13-game home winning streak, which dated to March 2.
Rinne allowed five goals amid a series of defensive miscues in a 7-4 Game 3 defeat. He rebounded impressively behind a team that was much sharper in its own end.