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Capitals vs. Penguins Recap: Pittsburied

Nicklas Backstrom led Washington over Pittsburgh with a five point performance in a thorough 7 to 1 victory on home ice.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of an overtime loss in Columbus the Capitals skated onto Verizon Center ice to face the reigning Stanley Cup Champions in a nationally televised matchup. Any worries about fatigue were quickly put to rest by Washington as they skated to an impressive 7 to 1 win over their division rivals.

First up Wednesday night’s Plus/Minus.

  • Plus: Nicklas Backstrom scored in his second straight game by shooting the puck at the goal from the slot (twice tonight!).
  • Minus: Not easy to identify one. Washington was guilty of three stick penalties, though, which is three too many.

Ten more notes on the game:

  • The Capitals got on the board first tonight thanks to some fast feet from Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie on the penalty kill. Oshie poked the puck away from Kris Letang and Washington’s pair hustled down the ice with Oshie beating Murray with Beagle’s rebound.
  • Evgeni Malkin came close to tying the game before the end of the first period but his goal was overturned by the officials after a league initiated review. Holtby denied a near own goal with a Varlamov-esque stick save before Malkin’s foot shoveled the puck into the net.
  • With 150 seconds left in the first period Backstrom extended Washington’s lead to two. After winning a defensive zone faceoff he coasted into the offensive zone and snapped a hard wrist shot past Murray’s glovehand.
  • Karl Alzner and Malkin got tied up next to a helmetless Murray later and, while jousting, Malkin’s stick clipped Murray in his beak. With only 24 seconds left in the frame Marc-Andre Fleury came on in relief while Murray was tended to in the locker room. He would not return.
  • And only 16 seconds after that the Capitals converted with their 4 on 3 man advantage. Oshie slammed home a rebound for Washington’s third goal of the first frame courtesy of a John Carlson rebound.
  • Dmitry Orlov continued the offensive production five minutes into the second period by capitalizing on an odd man rush, firing home a wrist shot off of Fluery’s right arm and in. Marcus Johansson’s wise backhanded dish gave Orlov all the time and space he needed.
  • With Letang and Brian Dumoulin in the penalty box Backstrom and Oshie hooked up to feed Justin Williams for his second goal of the season from five feet atop the crease.
  • Not to be left out of the evening’s offense Alexander Ovechkin scored halfway through the third period with a solid deke to his forehand to finish his partial breakaway chance.
  • But Phil Kessel would score for the Penguins from within a scramble in front of Holtby’s crease.
  • Backstrom completed game’s scoring with his second goal of the game, and fifth point, with another stellar wrist shot that beat Fluery on his glove side.

Game Highlights: