The Caps were one bounce away from putting this series away in overtime. Of course, that the game got that far was only because of the divine work from Simeon Varlamov in the final 40 minutes of regulation.
Kris Letang put a shot from the top of the offensive zone off Shaone Morrisonn and past Varlamov with 8:37 left in the first overtime and the Caps’ lead in this series is now 2-1.
“He was outstanding,” Boudreau said. “When you get a goaltending effort like that, you have to win because they don’t come around all that often.”
Here are some quick notes/quotes from another thrilling turn in this already incredible series:
* Varlamov made 39 saves, and was outstanding despite his team being outshot 34-15 after the first period. If he continues to play like this, the Caps will win this series. The Penguins will not be able to come up with three more efforts like they put forth tonight.
* The Caps defense did do an admirable job of locking up sticks and turning away rebound chances around the net. Pittsburgh finished with 42 shots, but considering how tilted the ice was it could have been 50 or more.
* Evgeni Malkin, welcome to the series. Malkin was un-markable toinght, taking nine shots of his own and generating about 15 potential chances. He did his best Alex Ovechkin impersonation, and even emulated No. 8’s goal celebration after he made it 2-1.
* Marc-Andre Fleury gave up about 10 more bad rebounds than Varlamov did, but he is now 4-0 in playoff overtime games in his career.
* Nicklas Backstrom’s goal was the third time in franchise history that the team has sent a postseason game into overtime with a marker in the final two minutes of regulation.
* Plenty of grumbling about the officiating after the game.
“As far as the penalties go, I hope I never hear them complaining about penalties again. I think we might have deserved the [seven] penalties, but they sure as hell deserved more than the [three] that they got.”
Alex Ovechkin said he didn’t want to talk about the officiating, but ended up calling it “a joke.”
Yes, the Caps ended up with seven penalties and the Penguins had two. But part of that was a byproduct of the Caps spending 75 percent of this game in their own zone. Teams playing defense take more penalties.