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Pens Points: Justice Served

Pens look to even series with Caps in Game 4 tonight. Wilson suspended three games for hit on Aston-Reese. Humboldt survivors honored during Game 3 on Tuesday. Time for Kessel and Brassard to step up their games. Hagelin return could solve major depth issue.

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Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three

Crucial Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena between the Penguins and Capitals this evening and the Pens look to even the series at 2-2 before heading back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday. The Capitals will be without tough guy Tom Wilson after he was suspended by the league for his hit on Zach Aston-Reese.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on NBCSN.

Catch up on the latest with today’s Pens Points

It took a broken jaw and a concussion to Zach Aston-Reese but the NHL Department of Player Safety finally stepped in and suspended Tom Wilson for three games as punishment for his high hit in Game 3. As a result, Wilson will be sidelined for Games 4, 5, and 6 (if necessary). [Pensburgh]

Pens/Caps has always been a marquee matchup for the NHL, especially during the last decade plus where the league could market the two superstars in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. That should be the case again this year but Tom Wilson has thrown his name into the frenzy with a rash of borderline hits. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

On top of the original hit that likely ended Aston-Reese’s season, the camera picked up Tom Wilson seemingly laughing as he sat on the bench following the incident. While the Capitals denied Wilson was laughing at the resulting injury, several Penguins players saw it in a different light and took offense. [USA Today]

Wilson has quickly become a villain in the city of Pittsburgh but where does he rank among all time sports villains in the city’s history? Does he even crack the top four and be placed on the Mount Rushmore of Pittsburgh sports villains? [Trib Live]

Another moment during Game 3 that was much more positive was when the Penguins announced a special fan in attendance. Brandon Camrud, a member of the Humboldt Broncos who survived the tragic bus accident, took in the game as a special guest of former Penguin Colby Armstrong. There was also another survivor in attendance but they asked to remain anonymous. [Penguins]

All hope is not lost for the Penguins as they face a 2-1 series deficit to the Capitals. A win tonight and everything is back on even terms but to help that happen they need players like Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard to find their scoring touch. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

A 3-1 series deficit to the Capitals would not be uncharted territory for the Penguins (see: 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs) but they will be looking to avoid that situation at all costs with a victory in Game 4. The last time the Penguins faced such a deficit was in 2015 when the lost in the first round to the New York Rangers. [Trib Live]

With Evgeni Malkin returning to the lineup in Game 3, that leaves just one major name on the injury report. Carl Hagelin is still recovering from the effects of a hard hit he received from Claude Giroux in Game 6 of the first round but he appears to be on track for a return at some point this series. Hagelin’s return could be a major boost in helping the depth scoring for the Penguins. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL

Amidst all the coverage surrounding Tom Wilson on Wednesday, former NHL enforcer Daniel Carcillo announced that we plans to donate his brain towards concussion research upon his passing. [USA Today]

The NHL has made clear its plans to expand the game into the Asian market, specifically targeting China. To help this process along, the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will play a pair of preseason contests in the cities of Shenzhen and Beijing. [Toronto Star]

Looks like the Dallas Stars have landed their newest bench boss to replace the retiring Ken Hitchcock. Reports are circulating that the Stars will hire Denver University head coach Jim Montgomery to the same position. Montgomery spent five season at Denver, winning a national title in 2017. [USCHO]

Stanley Cup Playoff Scores

Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Boston Bruins 1 (Tampa Bay leads 2-1)

San Jose Sharks 4, Vegas Golden Knights 0 (Series ties 2-2)