Justin K. Aller
The Pittsburgh Penguins score five goals in the second period enroute to routing the Washington Capitals 5-2.
The floodgates opened in the second period.
After giving up the first goal of the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins came out flying in the second and really put their stamp on the game, scoring five goals and then coasting home for a 5-2 victory over the visiting Washington Capitals. The win gives the Pens five in a row and boosts their record to 8-3-0. On the other side of the coin, the Caps are officially in free-fall mode at 2-8-1 and the bottom of the league.
For the Pens, playing without defenseman Kris Letang (undisclosed lower-body injury), Pittsburgh came out a little uneven in the first and unable to generate many good chances early. That changed big-time when Sidney Crosby fed Evgeni Malkin for one of the dirtiest top-shelf shots you'll ever see to beat Michal Neuvirth.
Six minutes later Pascal Dupuis collected a bouncing pass from Crosby and whacked it by Neuvirth who got the quick hook for Braden Holtby...As in the same Holtby who gave up six goals to the Penguins just days earlier. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time, for Coach Adam Oates, but it did not pay off.
A few minutes later, again on the power play, Chris Kunitz found space and made a nice pass to James Neal, who deked along the goal-line to his backhand and beat Holby to make it 3-1. Just 11 seconds later Matt Cooke scored on the "James Neal play" when Brandon Suter won an offensive faceoff cleanly. That made it 4-1 but just to put the exclamation point on it, Crosby batted a Malkin effort out of mid-air before the period ended to eliminate all doubt.
From there Pittsburgh had it in cruise control. Alex Ovechkin did score a power play goal in the third, but Marc-Andre Fleury made good stops on Eric Fehr and Ovechkin after that point to preserve the easy win and not make the game any more interesting down the stretch then it had to be.
No bullet points tonight, but a great team win with the flexing of the muscles in the second period. Easy to feel great tonight, but remember six is better than five...