The Washington Capitals lost game three Wednesday night 3-2, after battling back to tie the game with 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining. In the end Kris Letang, of the Pittsburgh Penguins found the back of the net sealing the victory.

Washington was extremely close to taking a commanding 3-0 series lead but Pittsburgh wouldn’t quit attacking.

Image Courtesy of the Associated Press

During game three the Capitals were out shot, and out executed. Despite taking an early 1-0 after another Ovechkin goal, Pittsburgh had ample scoring chances throughout the night. The Pens were certainly helped by the referees who whistled Washington for seven minor penalties. Pittsburgh, was only found guilty of two minor penalties in an intense playoff game that featured 75 hits in all. Nobody is screaming conspiracy quite yet, but we will see how game four goes Friday night.

The star of this evening was not Ovie, or Crosby – it was 21 year old Simeon Varlamov. The rookie made 39 saves and kept the Caps in the game all the way through until the end.

The overtime goal can’t even be blamed on Varly, it was just one of those hockey bounces, and sometimes they go in. From this point on, the Caps have their Stanley Cup goaltender. We are all seeing it night in and night out, making incredible saves, showing speed, positioning, and the intensity to leap across the crease just for the chance to make the save. He is something else, the missing ingredient for the Cup, no longer missing.

From the Pens side of the puck, it looks like Evgeni Malkin finally decided to ratchet up his intensity. He was everywhere in game three, after being invisible early in the series. Crosby had one of those; “if that had gone in, I couldn’t even be upset goals” moments where he carved his way through the defense but just barely missed the net wide. I said to myself, so that is why some idiots think he is better than Ovechkin. He can definitely play above his competition, similar to the way Lemieux and Gretzky did. The Pens knew they had to win, and they a found way to get it done.

After three games, we know for sure that we are in store for a hell of a series. The players are giving it their all, each game has been close, there have been some fines handed out. The stars are playing like true superstars, and were guaranteed at least two more games great playoff games.

1 2 3 OT F
WAS 1 0 1 0 2
PIT 0 1 1 1 3