This was the first of two make-up games from January. The Pittsburgh Penguins came to Verizon Center to play the league-leading Washington Capitals. Defenseman Mike Weber also made his debut as a Capital.
First Period: Another Slow Start
The Penguins scored first on 2-on-1. The Caps first shot on goal came at 8:53 in the first. Tom Wilson drew the first penalty of the game, Chris Kunitz for tripping. Unfortunately, the Capitals could not convert on the man advantage. Defenseman Karl Alzner went to the penalty box for cross-checking but 31 seconds later Kessel went to the box as well. The Capitals ended the period better than they started.
GOALS: Evgeni Malkin scored his 24th of the season (assists: Carl Hagelin and Brian Dumoulin)
PENALTIES: Chris Kunitz (tripping) Karl Alzner (cross-checking); Phil Kessel (slashing)
SCORE: Caps trail 1-0
Second Period: Penalties Galore
The Caps started the second a little off. Patric Hornqvist doubled the Pens lead. But Mike Richards got the Caps on the board. Kris Letang hooked Jason Chimera and they both headed to the box because it was deemed that Chimera embellished his fall. Shortly after, Ian Cole hooked Dmitry Orlov but Orlov, like Chimera, was called for embellishment. The referees seemed to lean to one team over another. Orlov got called for tripping but the Capitals PK was successful. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the game not long after.
GOALS: Patric Hornqvist scored his 16th of the season (assists: Olli Maatta and Sidney Crosby); Mike Richards scored his second of the season (assists: Nate Schmidt and Jason Chimera); Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 20th of the season (assists: Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky)
PENALTIES: Kris Letang (hooking); Jason Chimera (embellishment); Ian Cole (hooking); Dmitry Orlov (embellishment); Dmitry Orlov (tripping)
SCORE: Tied 2-2
Third Period: Nis-cannon!
The Capitals continued to play their heavy game into the third. Both teams traded chances early in the period. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie collided mid-way through the third period. The net hit Braden Holtby and he fell to the ice but no harm no foul. Holtby even made a jumping save shortly after. Capitals had a power play with 7:15 remaining and defenseman Matt Niskanen scored the eventual game-winning goal. Holtby with a great glove save on Carl Hagelin with 32.8 seconds left. Capitals defeat the Penguins 3-2.
GOALS: Matt Niskanen scored his fourth of the season (assist: Nicklas Backstrom)
PENALTIES: Evgeni Malkin (high-sticking)
SCORE: Caps win 3-2
The Capitals rebounded from the Blackhawks loss. The Capitals are now 46-12-4 for a total of 96 points. They still have not lost two consecutive games in regulation. There is a good chance the Capitals reach the 100-point mark before the end of the week.
We also wish to extend our congratulations to Taylor Chorney on the birth of his son earlier today.
Practice: No morning skate due to back-to-back games
Game: The Capitals will face Brooks Laich and the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow, Wednesday, at Verizon Center at 7pm.