The replay showed Washington Capitals forward Brett Conolly tripped Matt Murray, but the Capitals first period goal counted. In the third period with the Pittsburgh Penguins trailing by two, an NBC replay zoomed in, showed definitively Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist scored what would have been a huge goal but the NHL review ruled it inconclusive.
“We respectfully disagree with the league and the call,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.
The Penguins sloppiness again cost them dearly but in Game 2 they were not able to bunch goals and lost to the Capitals 4-1 Sunday at the Capital One Center.
The Capitals dominated the first period. They outshot the Penguins 20-10, including two shorthanded shots, which equaled the Penguins output on the first power play.
Just over one minute into the game, Capitals dynamo Alex Ovechkin established the Capitals tone. Ovechkin (7) snapped a wrist shot from 35 feet over Murray’s glove hand. Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin pinched forward at the Capitals blue line which created a two-on-one break.
In the first four periods in Round 2, the Capitals had seven odd-man breaks. Including Ovechkin’s tally, the Capitals scored on three.
After a Sidney Crosby hooking penalty, the Capitals earned a power-play goal. Jakub Vrana (1) split three penalty killers as he walked from the wall to the front of the net. The Penguins challenged the goal as Connolly chopped Murray’s skate, which unbalanced Murray.
However, the goal stood.
Two minutes into the second period, the Capitals kept coming. The Capitals transitioned quickly after a Dominik Simon turnover.
Capitals third line center Lars Eller sprung Connolly on a breakaway. Connolly (1), as the previous two Capitals goal scorers did, beat Murray to the glove side. Murray got a piece of the puck, but not enough. It rolled across the line.
The Penguins dominated the second period but could erase their three-goal deficit. The Penguins outshot the Capitals 16-6 in the second period.
The Penguins did score once in the second period. Hornqvist and Dmitri Orlov had a gloves-on scrap midway through the period, which created a four-on-four.
Kris Letang (2) floated a shot from the blueline after the Penguins displayed beauty and precision to keep the puck moving. Jake Guentzel screened Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.
The Penguins scored again midway through the third period. Sidney Crosby couldn’t complete the wrap-around shot but Hornqvist stuffed the puck across the line, barely, but still across the line. NBC replays, zoomed in, were able to show white ice between the goal line and the puck, but the Toronto controlled review didn’t use the picture.
Crosby and Hornqvist, who bird-dogged the NBC replay over between-the-benches color analyst Pierre Maguire’s shoulder were incensed.
(Credit twitter user @npv708)
The Penguins didn’t get close again as the game devolved into chippy penalties and message sending.
Nicklas Backstrom scored the empty-netter with six seconds left.
Holtby stopped 31 of 32 shots. Murray stopped 30 of 33.
Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin was injured four minutes into the second period. Capitals agitator Tom Wilson was chasing Dumoulin and delivered something close to an elbow to Dumoulin’s jaw. Dumoulin laid on the ice. He left the game, presumably had to go through the concussion protocol, and did not return.
This Saturday’s Game 5 start time has been set at 7 p.m, at Capital One Arena.