When the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins meet, odd things happen, usually not good for the Caps. But when the Caps took a 3-0 lead, it seemed as if the hockey demons, they would take the night off. Turns out they didn’t, as the Pens and Caps played a game unlike just about any other in this rivalry’s history.
Here’s Monday’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Variety. Six different players had goals; 14 different players had points.
Minus: Variety. The Caps used two goaltenders. That’s one too many. That, and the defense down low, which allowed Pittsburgh too much in terms of position and opportunity.
Ten more notes on the game:
- The eight goals allowed was more than twice as many as the Caps allowed in their previous six games (three).
- By the time the second period ended, the Caps had allowed more goals (six) than they had in any game this season.
- Five goals allowed by Braden Holtby is a season high and the most he allowed in a regular season game since he allowed five last March 20th…to the Penguins…in Pittsburgh. He was pulled in that one, too.
- This was the 2nd time in the history of this rivalry that both teams recorded seven or more goals in a game. The 15 goals combined was the most for both teams since an 8-7 Penguins win on October 11, 1988.
- Lars Eller had his first multi-goal game as a Capital with a shorthanded strike and a third period tally to tie the game.
- The fourth line of Jay Beagle, Tom Wilson, and Daniel Winnik combined for just one shot on goal. Fourth line, yes, but still odd in a game like this.
- The Capitals did extend their points streak to 11 games by extending this game to overtime (9-0-2).
- Alex Ovechkin had 11 shot attempts, three on goal, and nine hits. He also added a pair of assists. On the other side, he did not record a goal and was a minus-4, including the game-winner for the Penguins, when he was tripped in open ice by Sidney Crosby (one of a staggering series of calls/no calls that seemed to go Pittsburgh’s way in this game).
- Pittsburgh had two goals challenged for goaltender interference, they had two goals upheld.
- The Caps’ problem of recent games – penalties – was not a problem in this game. They committed just one non-coincidental penalty. The Pens scored on the ensuing power play…natch. It was that kind of game.
And now, this...