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Capitals vs. Penguins Recap: Barn Burner Benefits Both But Pens Beats Caps in Overtime

An overtime winner from Kris Letang capped off a high scoring affair in Pittsburgh’s favor 7 to 6

NHL: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After blanking the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night 7 to 0 the Capitals travelled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to square off against the Penguins in a Metropolitan Division showdown. A high scoring affair was entertaining from start to finish with Kris Letang ending the contest two minutes into overtime.

Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: If you enjoyed the Washington’s offensive outburst yesterday tonight was more of the same. Five different Capitals registered goals tonight - including goals in consecutive games for Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, and T.J. Oshie.

Minus: The second period belonged to the home team and they made the Capitals pay, piercing Braden Holtby three times to put themselves ahead after forty minutes of play.

Fourteen more notes on the game.

  1. The Penguins began their season hot and tallied their first goal of the season less than two minutes into the contest. Evgeni Malkin and Jamie Oleksiak shuffled the puck before the big defender ripped a hard shot beyond Holtby’s glove for an early lead.
  2. Pittsburgh’s momentum would continue early but a dynamite left skate save from Holtby against Sidney Crosby helped Washington get their legs under them. An unforgiveable turnover from Andre Burakovsky below the blue line nearly cost the Capitals a second goal against.
  3. And with the momentum Washington would even the score at one with Jakub Vrana slamming home a Nicklas Backstrom end board carom up and over Penguins goaltender Matt Murray.
  4. Only 48 seconds later defenseman Brooks Orpik tallied his first goal of the young season with a slap shot that beat Murray from fifty feet to put the Capitals ahead.
  5. With Matt Niskanen in the penalty box for interference a short while later the Penguins power play would strike. A pass from Justin Schultz and a flubbed shot from Daniel Sprong allowed Jake Guentzel an easy opportunity to put the puck into the net to knot the score at two.
  6. But Ovechkin would put the Capitals back ahead by parking himself atop the crease and stuffing a Christian Djoos shot between Murray’s legs. Weak crease coverage from Letang and Brian Dumoulin allowed Ovechkin time and space to finish easily.
  7. 30 seconds into the second frame Letang fired a shot that beat Holtby through a screen from deep. Tie game.
  8. Carlson would put Washington ahead once again with a wicked wrister that beat Murray after looking off Vrana during a two on one rush.
  9. Washington’s lead would be short lived, though, as Guentzel tipped home a shot from above the crease that bounced beneath Holtby’s right leg pad. With the score knotted at four PPG Paints Arena began to roar.
  10. Less than two minutes later Derick Brassard deposited a quick backhanded shot around Holtby after corralling a rebound in the slot. The later second period goal gave Pittsburgh their second lead of the evening.
  11. Early in the third period Malkin put Pittsburgh ahead by two at the conclusion of a Brett Connolly minor penalty. A trio of great touches from Phil Kessel, Crosby, and Letang allowed Malkin to pot an easy tally.
  12. But the Capitals were not done. Oshie ripped off Malkin in the Penguins’ zone and ripped home a high and hard snap shot past Murray’s glove to bring Washington within one.
  13. 21 seconds later Oshie deflected a Carlson shot down and under Murray to bring the game even at six with 6:38 to play. The goal was immediately waived off by the referees before they conferred and decided to overturn their initial reaction.
  14. With Evgeny Kuznetsov in the penalty box for hooking Pittsburgh’s power play connected with their four on three advantage to end the contest. Letang’s blast from above the slot beat Holtby cleanly to his right side for his second of the night.