(The Sports Xchange) - Nick Bonino scored 6:32 into overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame Washington's frantic three-goal comeback to win 4-3 and eliminate the Capitals from the Eastern Conference semi-finals on Tuesday.
Bonino pounced on a Carl Hagelin rebound to put the puck past Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby after the Penguins' own string of terrible penalties had helped Washington overcome a 3-0 deficit to tie the game.
The Penguins, the NHL's hottest team with 22 wins in 27 games, now move on to the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning later this week.
Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Penguins in a first-round series in 2011.
The Capitals were trying to stage their own comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, only to be denied by Bonino's goal and rookie Matt Murray's outstanding goaltending. Murray made 36 saves and is now 4-0 after a loss in these playoffs.
Phil Kessel had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, who have won their last 57 games when leading after two periods.
Washington still have not reached the Eastern Conference finals since 1998.
The Penguins led 3-0 after Kessel scored early in the first and Kessel and Hagelin scored 33 seconds apart on the same Brooks Orpik-caused power play in the second period.
A bad penalty by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz led to T.J. Oshie's power-play goal with 1:30 left in the second, which started Washington's comeback.
Justin Williams scored his second in as many games at 7:23 of the third, skating out from behind the net to beat Murray with a wrist shot.
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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 22: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal against Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 16: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning gives up a goal to Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on May 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 13: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a goal against Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 15: David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues (R) celebrates with Jaden Schwartz #17 after scoring a first period goal against Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks (not pictured) in Game One of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 15, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Troy Brouwer #36 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. The blues beat the Blackhawks 3-2 to win the series. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 27: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a save as Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders crashes into Jason Garrison #5 during the first period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 27, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 02: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals reacts after being scored on by Tom Kuhnhackl #34 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers is pushed aside as players from the Panthers and the New York Islanders converge in the crease during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 20: Jason Spezza #90 of the Dallas Stars scores a goal against Jason Pominville #29 and goalie Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 20, 2016 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 27: Clayton Stoner #3 of the Anaheim Ducks and Viktor Arvidsson #38 of the Nashville Predators leap to avoid a collision during the second period of Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center on April 27, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 19: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck with Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 19, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay won the game 3-2. Tampa Bay leads the series 3-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 23: Sami Vatanen #45 of the Anaheim Ducks reacts after scoring on a breakaway against goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators in the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 23, 2016 in Anaheim, California. Vatanen's goal was the eventual game-winning goal. The Ducks defeated the Predators 5-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 20: Andrew MacDonald #47 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates after scoring against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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A remarkable series of Penguins penalties -- delay-of-game calls on Kunitz, Nick Bonino and Ian Cole in a span of 2:02 for shooting the puck over the glass -- gave the Capitals the opportunity they needed to tie it.
Pittsburgh killed off a 5-on-3 Washington power play lasting 54 seconds, only to have Cole's penalty create another one.
Defenseman John Carlson -- who played nearly half the game after defenseman Karl Alzner left with an apparent foot injury -- and Ovechkin flipped sides of the ice, briefly confusing the Penguins and leaving Carlson open in the left circle for a wide-open one-timer that tied it at 13:01.
Ovechkin picked up his second assist of the game.
The Capitals went on another power play, resulting from defenseman Kris Letang's interference penalty with 2:46 left in regulation, but could not score and the teams went to overtime for the third time in six games.
The Penguins lost playoff series while holding 3-1 leads against the Lightning in 2011 and the New York Rangers in 2014, and they came out like a team desperate to avoid returning to Washington for Game 7.
Playing before a crowd that was loud and energized from the start -- reminiscent of their days in Mellon Arena -- the Penguins got on the board only 5:41 into the first.
Kessel skated down the left side and put a hard wrist shot past Alzner and goaltender Holtby for his first goal of the series.
Kessel's second goal came 40 seconds after Orpik -- back after serving a three-game suspension for a late, head-high hit on defenseman Olli Maatta in Game 2 -- drew a double minor for high-sticking Patric Hornqvist in the face during the second period.
Kessel carried the puck from the edge of the left circle into the slot and, deciding not to pass to Sidney Crosby at the right post, deked Holtby with a move and slid the puck into a wide-open net at 7:05 for his fifth of the playoffs.
Alzner, normally part of the Capitals' penalty-killing unit, was off the ice after being slashed in the right foot by Crosby midway through the first period. Alzner returned to play two shifts early in the second, but his skating clearly was compromised and he did not play again.
With the Penguins still on the power play because of Orpik's four-minute penalty, Hagelin made it 3-0 by redirecting Maatta's shot from the right point at 7:38. Pittsburgh was 1-for-16 on the power play in the series before scoring twice with the man advantage in a span of 33 seconds.
The Capitals finally went on the power play later in the period, and Oshie made it 3-1 by cutting across the slot and beating Murray with an off-balance shot from the right circle at 18:30 -- his fifth of the series and sixth in the postseason.