After the Caps dramatic 4-3 comeback win over the Devils on Sunday, Peter Laviolette rejiggered the lines:
Capitals lines vs PIT:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 23, 2021
Would this new lineup lead to success? The first period was a laborious mess, and resulted in the Caps trailing 1-0. The second period opened up drastically for both teams, and the Caps scored a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead, before the Penguins tied it on a Jake Guentzel deflection. The third period didn’t result in anything interesting, and the two teams went into OT tied. However, the Caps dropped the OT result after a 2-1 rush goal by Kasperi Kapanen, falling to the Penguins 3-2 in OT.
Here’s Tuesday evening’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: The Caps iced their reverse retro jerseys for the first time this year, and looked really, really spiffy throughout. [Editor’s note: the opinions of the recap writer do not necessarily reflect those of Japers’ Rink.]
Minus: The Caps got off to yet another slow start. During the first period, they gave up a powerplay goal and the Penguins controlled the game at even strength.
Here’s some more notes on Tuesday’s game:
- After the teams exchanged goaltending interference penalties early in the first, the Penguins struck first on a powerplay goal by Evgeni Malkin. The Caps defensive coverage on this goal (and really the entire powerplay) was near nonexistent, and Malkin was left all alone in the front of the net.
Letang adding that little curl and drag to change the angle at the point and opening up some lanes to his arsenal is a nice touch in the year 2021. Malkin 1-0 pic.twitter.com/SQDbWK38Ai— geoff (@geoffwithano) February 24, 2021
- The Caps two powerplays were both terrible in the first period. Not only did they fail to generate a single shot on goal, they seemed to sap the energy of the Caps in the first period.
- It took the Caps till the second period to respond, but respond they did. Off of a gorgeous feed by Zdeno Chara, Richard Panik drove the net and managed to beat Tristan Jarry to tie the game at 1. It was good to see Panik get on the scoresheet, as he was long overdue.
- Later in the second, the Caps took the lead on another beautiful pass. This time, it was Evgeny Kuznetsov with the silky-smooth mitts, as he intercepted a Penguins pass and zipped a no-look pass across the ice to Conor Sheary. Sheary made no mistake, and gave the Caps a 2-1 lead.
- The Caps weren’t able to hold the lead for long, however. Jake Guentzel was able to tip a John Marino shot from the point to tie the game. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the opposing team, and Guentzel’s deflection was simply a great display of hand-eye coordination by the Penguins winger.
- The Caps 4th line of Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway, and Nic Dowd did not have a strong game. They were badly out-attempted and outshot at 5v5, along with being on ice for a goal against.
What I don't like here is that PIT is getting shots/attempts from the players they want...Crosby/Letang/Malkin'Guentzel have combined for 18 shots/27 attempts— ThePeerless (@ThePeerless) February 24, 2021
- Jason Zucker went down in the third period for the Penguins, falling awkwardly after he made contact with a Capitals players skate. Zucker is one of Pittsburgh’s better wingers and would be a huge loss for the Penguins, though hopefully he’ll be okay going forward.
- After a wide-open second period, the third had a feel of a couple of teams desperate to get at least a point. The teams combined for a total of 2 shots on goal for the first 6+ minutes of the third, and neither team seemed particularly interested in pushing play.
- And as a result of the uninspired third period, the Caps and Pens headed into OT. After a spate of overtime games to start the season, tonight represented the first overtime action the Caps had seen in 9 games.
Capitals-Penguins head to OT tied at 2. We back. pic.twitter.com/OFToO78OZd— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 24, 2021
- However, the OT period didn’t last long. After a point shot by Dmitry Orlov, the Penguins generated a 2-1 rush that was finished off by Kasperi Kapanen. As a result, the Caps fell to the Penguins in overtime, 3-2.