Capitals v. Penguins: Redemption in Victory

Washington Capitals (6-4-3 15pts) v. Pittsburgh Penguins (7-5-1 15pts)

Game Recap:

In Pittsburgh the Washington Capitals and the Penguins would meet for the second consecutive time, and fourth time overall this season, as both teams aim for sole possession of fourth place in the NHL MassMutual East Division. In the opening minutes of the game the Caps would get themselves into penalty trouble as Zdeno Chara would be called for holding giving the Pens the first powerplay of the game, and while the Caps would apply great pressure and create two really quality scoring chances, Garnet Hathaway would be called for goalie interference to give the Pens an abbreviated two man advantage. However, for the Caps they would kill off both penalties to keep the Pens at bay. After the penalties were killed the Pens were outshooting the Caps 10 to 5, but after the midway point the Capitals would wake up and at the end of the period it would still be tied at zero, but the Caps outshot the Pens 15 to 13.

Going into the second period the Capitals would continue to apply the pressure and outshoot the Pens 7 to 1 in the first five minutes of the period, and it would pay off for the Caps as Conor Sheary would net his third of the season to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead over his former team. Also two seconds after the goal was scored Evgeni Malkin would trip Evgeny Kuznetsov right off the faceoff to give the Caps their second powerplay, but they would only register one shot on that man advantage. The pressure would not stop there as the Caps kept the pedal to the metal as they would draw another powerplay which would see some much better puck work and scoring chances, however, despite not scoring on the powerplay, the Caps kept the momentum rolling and it would be Jakub Vrana with his fifth of the season to give the Capitals the 2-0 lead. The Capitals would be the beneficiary of a fourth powerplay as Mike Matheson would get a goalie interference penalty, similar to Hathaway’s in the first, and the Caps would keep the pressure going, and despite not scoring, would end the period outshooting the Penguins 19 to 5, and leading 2-0.

Going into the third period the final seconds of the Capitals fourth powerplay would tick away, but it wouldn’t matter as 69 seconds into the period Lars Eller would net his second of the season off of a really nice pass from Richard Panik, who would net his second assist of the game, for the Caps to take the 3-0 lead. The Caps would draw another powerplay opportunity, but once again would not be able to capitalize on it, despite generating a few more chances once again. Late in the period the Pens would start to surge a bit, and with the help of some chaos in the Caps crease Zach Aston-Reese would strike to end Vitek Vanecek’s shutout bid, and bring the Pens back within two. Then Sheary would be hit with a hooking penalty in the final two minutes of the period to give the Pens their last chance at trying to get closer, but the Capitals would shut them down and end their four game losing streak with the 3-1 victory over their long time rivals.

Lineups:

Washington Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Conor Sheary — Lars Eller — Richard Panik
Carl Hagelin — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Brenden Dillon — John Carlson
Zdeno Chara — Justin Schultz
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Vitek Vanecek
Craig Anderson
Scratched: Daniel Sprong, Jonas Siegenthaler, Trevor van Riemsdyk
Injured: Brian Pinho (undisclosed)

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker — Evgeni Malkin — Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-Reese — Teddy Blueger — Brandon Tanev
Colton Sceviour — Mark Jankowski — Sam Lafferty
Pierre-Olivier Joseph — Kris Letang
Mike Matheson — John Marino
Marcus Pettersson — Cody Ceci
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith
Scratched: Yannick Weber, Frederick Gaudreau, Anthony Angello, Drew O’Connor, Chad Ruhwedel, Maxime Lagace
Injured: Jared McCann (lower body), Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Evan Rodrigues (lower body), Juuso Riikola (upper body), Zach Trotman (knee)

First Period:

WAS Penalty – 1:53 – Zdeno Chara 2 minutes for Holding

WAS Penalty – 3:32 – Garnet Hathaway 2 minutes for Goalie Interference

End of FirstWAS – 0PIT – 0
Shots1513
Faceoff Wins814
Hits139
Powerplay0/00/2

Second Period:

PIT Penalty – :13 – Jake Guentzel 2 minutes for Holding

WAS Goal – 4:52 – Conor Sheary (3) from Richard Panik (3) and Nick Jensen (3)

PIT Penalty – 4:54 – Evgeni Malkin 2 minutes for Tripping

PIT Penalty – 9:12 – Pierre-Olivier Joseph 2 minutes for High Sticking

WAS Goal – 11:31 – Jakub Vrana (5) from TJ Oshie (6) and Nicklas Backstrom (12)

PIT Penalty – 18:16 – Mike Matheson 2 minutes for Goalie Interference

End of SecondWAS – 2PIT – 0
Shots3418
Faceoff Wins1923
Hits1821
Powerplay0/40/2

Third Period:

WAS Goal – 1:09 – Lars Eller (2) from Richard Panik (4) and Zdeno Chara (3)

PIT Penalty – 6:57 – Pierre-Olivier Joseph 2 minutes for Interference

PIT Goal – 15:05 – Zach Aston-Reese (3) from Teddy Blueger (6) and John Marino (2)

WAS Penalty – 18:54 – Conor Sheary 2 minutes for Hooking

End of ThirdWAS – 3PIT – 1
Shots4227
Faceoff Wins2929
Hits2631
Powerplay0/50/3

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