Marshall: A look at the Penguins' defensive turnaround in Game 4


Crosby was arguing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and had to be pulled off Capitals forward by Alex Ovechkin. Ryan Hartman provided the opening goal late in the first. I don't know if an unhealthy Phil Kessel can do the same. Jake Guentzel almost ate a goal post after potting his first of two on the night, Matt Murray was exceptional between the pipes, and Kris Letang traded punches with T.J.

Derick Brassard, the Penguins' big trade-deadline get, is stagnant.

The league announced the suspension less than 24 hours after Wilson broke Aston-Reese's jaw with a violent collision near the Washington bench in the second period of Washington's 4-3 Game 3 victory over the Penguins. The Penguins simply can not afford to lose in this spot, with the Capitals set to host Game 5 on Saturday. What's the French word for "condescending"? They gave Tom a three-game suspension.

The league's department of player safety held a hearing on the matter yesterday and suspended Wilson three games. "Not too good to be laughing at something like that", said Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz.

The Penguins did a better job in the opening minutes of the game. Fatigue can't help but be an issue. Vegas dominated the first game, San Jose dominated the fourth, all packed in between two tightly played overtime games.

There was a Winnipeg flury towards the end of the third, and on a power play with less than a minute left, a rifle from Patrik Laine made the score 2-1. Turns out they're good at it. The Capitals, rather than panicking, calmly got a much-needed goal from Chandler Stephenson. The Capitals prefer to attack on the rush. Crosby's Pittsburgh teammates are still amazed every time he does it - and they should be.

Washington trailed 3-2 entering the third period before Matt Niskanen's goal tied the game at three ahead of Ovechkin's game-winner.

Washington's offense attempted 29.6 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.2 goals per outing (ranked ninth overall in the NHL).

That's not to take anything away from the Capitals.

The players put their egos in check and did what was needed. Check below to find out before we head back to Washington on Saturday. Game 4 was tight checking, there was little space, and everything was earned. Hagelin is dealing with an upper-body injury and has worn a full face shield while on the ice. The Capitals bottom six gobbled up Brassard and his line. That's the player that he is for us.

Evgeni Malkin smiles and calls it "garbage".

Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh.

But Simon had an assist Thursday and was plus-1 in 14:01 played. It doesn't matter what, it doesn't matter who scored.

Said Guentzel: "I think it shows how focused and dialed in he is right now".

Of course, the Capitals lost that series.

Don't be surprised if they lose it. The Capitals' apparent hysteria over Wilson's ban reeks of looking for an excuse, as does their overreaction to Thursday's loss. Now we have to wonder who comes out with the edge in Game 5, because the flip-flopping is giving us a headache.

Think about it. Neither one of them has ever endured the experience of losing a playoff series.