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On this date in Penguins history: Staying alive with an overtime win vs. the Caps

Kris Letang’s game winner in overtime of Game 3 vs. the Capitals in 2009 was a pivotal point in the series

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

13 years ago today, Kris Letang scored the overtime winner in Game 3 of the Penguins’ second round matchup with the Washington Capitals.

The Pens had played well in the first two games of the series, but came out on the losing end of both, trailing 2-0 headed back to Pittsburgh.

With another loss, the Pens would face an uphill challenge of a 3-0 deficit — something they couldn’t afford to deal with.

The two teams traded goals in the 1st and 2nd periods, with Evgeni Malkin breaking the tie late in the 3rd period.

When it looked like victory was in sight for Pittsburgh, Nicklas Backstrom evened the score for the Capitals and overtime was on the table.

One wrong bounce or mistake and it could be a 3-0 deficit — but for the Penguins’ sake, that bounce went off of the post behind Semyon Varlamov, and into the net.

With the win in Game 3, the Penguins had life. In Game 4 and 5, they would take a series lead, before winning the series in 7 games.