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Penguins Bombard Capitals but Lose in OT, 4-3; Winless in 4

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, Washington Capitals

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins (27-11-8) were left with a few questions to answer about their trajectory and standing after being winless in three games, including some clunkers against bad teams. A good rivalry game was the wake-up call the team needed as their effort and intensity increased significantly. The Penguins dominated the Washington Capitals (25-12-9) everywhere but the scoreboard.

The Penguins outshot Washington 35-17 through 40 minutes and increased that margin through most of the third period. The regulation tally was 45-29. Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov, who subbed for starter Vitek Vanecek midway through the first period, had to make countless sparkling saves to keep the game close.

Dmitry Orlov capitalized late in overtime, and Samsonov helped the Capitals steal a 4-3 OT win at PPG Paints Arena.

Correction: The first draft listed Alex Ovechkin as the goal scorer.

Samsonov stopped 43 of 45, total. Jarry stopped 26 of 29 in regulation and 28 of 32 overall.

The 45 shots were the most for the Penguins since a Dec. 17 win over the Buffalo Sabres (48). Call that game a Samsonov theft.

The rivalry snapped the Penguins out of their recent funk of disinterest. The Penguins had plenty of opportunities, especially in the second period with a 23-7 lopsided shot total, but the teams were square after the first and second periods.

Former Penguins winger Daniel Sprong’s penalty No. 1 created a pair of goals early in the first period.

The Penguins hop created a power play early in the first period, but the power play was a wash. A few seconds into the advantage, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had one of those giveaways that dogged his younger self. Letang’s pressured blue line turnover created a 150-foot breakaway for Washington PK Nic Dowd (6), who slipped his backhand deke through goalie Tristan Jarry’s five-hole.

However, the Penguins quickly erased the damage of the shortie when Evgeni Malkin sneaked towards the net from the right-wing circle. From about 20 feet, Malkin (6) one-timed a pass from Crosby past Vanecek.

Vanecek left the game for concussion protocol a few minutes later after Kasperi Kapanen collided with him on a short breakaway chance. Kapanen attempted to stop but lost his footing. Samsonov replaced Vanecek.

Sprong penalty No. 2 later in gave the Penguins a lead.

With aggression and some ill-intent, the Penguins’ power play scored again midway through the first period. Evgeni Malkin didn’t get an assist but set up the play by holding the puck in the zone at the blue line. He was bowled over as he did it, but his pass was on the tape to Jake Guentzel in the corner.

Guentzel zipped a pass through sprawling defensemen to Sidney Crosby, who tapped the puck to Bryan Rust (13) in front of the net.

Rust scored a second power-play goal a few minutes into the second period. Crosby and Guentzel earned their second assists of the game by getting the pick to Rust on the far post. Rust (14) needed a couple of whacks but got it through Samsonov.

The Capitals seemingly tied the game midway through the second when Dowd deflected a point shot past Jarry. It looked good initially, but overhead replays showed that Dowd backed into Jarry before stepping out the crease, which impacted Jarry.

“Video review determined Nic Dowd had a significant presence in the crease which impaired goaltender Tristan Jarry’s ability to play his position,” read the statement from the NHL situation room.

Dowd and the Washington Capitals disagreed.

Washington tied the game later in the second period, as Sprong made a positive impact for the Capitals after the pair of costly penalties. Sprong walked Chad Ruhwedel at the defensive blue line and had a short breakaway chance. Sprong (8) swept the puck past Jarry, then collided headfirst into Capitals forward Tom Wilson.

Both were fine, though Ruhwedel’s ego may have been bruised.

Guentzel had three assists, and Crosby had two apples.

The Penguins muted Alex Ovechkin who had only a few shots in regulation until he sniped the top-shelf wrister over Jarry.

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Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago

Another rather pathetic performance where pens mistakes were cashed in…

And I’ve never seen a team more concerned with line changes in OT…next time don’t spend 3:30 “resetting”

Katz
Katz
3 months ago

First let me say Malkin was very strong the entire game. Crosby was excellent. Penguin 4th line is bupkis, Ic Simon and ZAR were bowlers they’d need bumper rails to hit the pins. But the difference in this game was a glowing screaming 5 alarm giveaway by 58.
And part of me is happy for talented Daniel Sprong who got no opportunity from Sullivan while his son- shortstop Simon gets every possible opportunity. Good for you Daniel.

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  Katz

Letang continues to make the WORST mistakes each game…about 5 in a row…and fools go on the radio everyday saying they should give him $10 per or “the window is shut”
They must show different games to different fans.

Uros
Uros
3 months ago
Reply to  Katz

I was watching the game yesterday and I asked myself at a certain point: Do I miss any of these ex Pens? The answer was a resounding no.

Ethan
Ethan
3 months ago
Reply to  Uros

I tend to agree with you except for Hagelin. The Swedish hair-farmer was a unique player/great skater that helped solidify a 3rd line for a couple fun runs at Lord Stanley. As for Washington–they may have won the game–but the city just flat-out lost another contest when it comes to interesting nicknames! The Commanders?! Yikes. 0 for 3 now. Caps, Comms, and Senators all blow! Lost interest the moment the Red Tails or Red Wolves dropped out!

AJ Wood
AJ Wood
3 months ago

Pretty sure that was Orlov with GWG.

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Wood

Yeah…it was orlov…who you should never give up 2 goals to in a game

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Still need to fix the last sentence: “The Penguins muted Alex Ovechkin who had only a few shots in regulation until he sniped the top-shelf wrister over Jarry.”

Pete
Pete
3 months ago

Where was this effort last week? If they had played with that effort they would have blown out and earned 2 more points against Sea and Det. This loss doesn’t bother me. The effort was there. The best teams don’t piss away games to Sea and Det.

Uros
Uros
3 months ago

So this was a game where we could see some stuff not going so great. Maybe it will fix itself or maybe we could try, although it would be very difficult, to bring someone in. First off, Letang. He seems exhausted. Playing a guy that much, day in day out, is going to produce some mistakes eventually. Of course, who do we have to cover those minutes? Everybody’s talking about Kapanen and whatnot, but it’s the defense, that was so good at the beginning of the season, that is starting to falter. Matheson shines at times and you think he’s… Read more »

trackback

[…] The Pittsburgh Penguins (27-11-8) were left with a few questions to answer about their trajectory and standing after being winless in three games, including some clunkers against bad teams. A good rivalry game was the wake-up call the team needed as their effort and intensity increased significantly. The Penguins dominated the Washington Capitals (25-12-9) everywhere but the scoreboard. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
3 months ago

Dowd was cross-checking Ruhwedel in the back pushing himself into Jarry, looked deliberate.

Lee
Lee
3 months ago

I blame the OT loss on Kapanen’s slippery stick. If he hadn’t missed that pass back to the blue line, Orlov would not have had a chance to score that winning goal. How often are we going to have to watch Kapanen’s quick skating create an opportunity only for his poor puck handling to ruin it?

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