Penguins to Regain Control of Series after Road Split vs. Capitals

Dana Lane

Monday, April 30, 2018 5:01 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 5:01 PM UTC

The Eastern Conference semifinal series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Tuesday night. That's bad news for Washington, which has lost eight of its last 11 visits to the Igloo.

NHL Tuesday: Capitals vs. PenguinsFree NHL Pick: Penguins MLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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I believe that Patric Hornqvist really did shove the puck past Washington goalie Braden Holtby to bring Pittsburgh within 3-2 with 10:57 left in Game 2 on Sunday night. Not only can you use a little common sense to determine that Holtby’s left pad helped guide the puck inside the post, but the reaction by Hornqvist was proper for someone who had the best angle. He had the best angle because neither Gord Dwyer nor Chris Rooney was in position to make the call. Hornqvist scored and celebrated as such. If Hornqvist didn’t think it was in, he would have continued to pound away at the puck. Instead, he threw his hands up like he believed it was in. Both referees made the proper call because there was no way they could have seen it from their positioning on the ice, so off to Toronto they went for the replay. Let’s be fair; I saw 20 replays from various angles and there was no way I could see the puck go in, so it was the right result. It took 15 hours later for someone to find an angle that made it look like a goal.

That incident should add fire to a Penguins squad that already knows they’re the better team and is back home, with the Eastern Conference semifinal series tied at 1. Something to think about when handicapping Game 3 (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET; NBC Sports Network).

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A closer look.

No goal.

10:57 left and the Penguins trail 3-1.

— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 29, 2018

The opening number on the NHL odds board favored Pittsburgh -130. But since then, the public has made their feelings known that they believe the Penguins are the right side with 86% of the ticket count on coming in on Mike Sullivan’s team. Early wagering on the "total" doesn’t give much indication that there will be much movement, with 5.5 -115 (over) holding steady.

Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who was run over by Tom Wilson in Game 2, was back on the ice for Monday's morning practice. He said he feels good and that he wasn’t ready for the Wilson portion of the hit that also featured Alexander Ovechkin. Dumoulin skated with a non-contact jersey as he settled into his first pairing role with Kris Letang. Carl Hagelin also skated with a non-contact jersey until the Pens practiced their penalty kill; he then switched to a normal contact jersey, indicating he’ll play Tuesday.

It sounds funny when I hear Letang talk about the Penguins as the team needing to play 60 minutes of hockey, a sentiment that’s usually reserved for the Capitals. Believe me, the Penguins are the better team, playing now with a chip on their shoulder. In your NHL picks, look for Pittsburgh to win Game 3 and take the series lead.

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