clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

RECAP: Penguins Begin Back-to-Back with Loss to Capitals

Following their 3-1 win on Tuesday, the Penguins were looking to keep up with their winning ways against the Washington Capitals.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


The Penguins (9-6-2) are meeting the Capitals (8-7-1) for the second time this season. Earlier in the year, the Pens and Caps met in the nation’s capital where the Penguins won by a score of 3-2.

The Penguins will be rolling out these line combos for tonight’s game:

And the Capitals will have this lineup:

1st Period

With 15:34 left in the period, Phil Kessel was tripped by Dmitry Orlov to give the Pens their first power-play of the night. On the opening face-off, however, Patric Hornqvist hooked former Penguin, Brooks Orpik. And just like that, it was down to 4-on-4 action.

Brian Dumoulin took a big hit by Devante Smith-Pelly in which Dumo’s head went into the curved area of the glass. He would later return to start the 2nd period.

Near the halfway point of the period, Ryan Reaves and number 87... Liam O’Brien dropped the gloves. The fight was over in the blink of an eye, and Reaves promptly did away with this faux #87.

Evgeni Malkin would trip Dmitry Orlov with 7 minutes left in the period to put the Caps on the power-play. At 14:09, John Carlson would drive home a redirected puck and give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

Soon after, Conor Sheary was denied by Braden Holtby on a quick breakaway, but in the process, a slashing penalty was called on Tom Wilson to give the Penguins a chance with the man-advantage. The Penguins were putting on a passing clinic, but couldn’t even up the game with the this PP.

Not much more action here after this and time would expire to end the period.

Matt Murray was the one who was able to keep this game as close as it was through the period. He certainly looked locked in for this one.

Here are some numbers after the first period of play:

A relatively close game here, and pace of play was starting to pick up as the period went on.

2nd Period

37 seconds into the period, Patric Hornqvist was called for interference. At the same time, Sidney Crosby took a stick to the midsection and was in some noticeable discomfort. 2 minutes later, the Capitals would fail to capitalize and 5v5 hockey resumed.

With 11:34 left in the period, Phil Kessel was able to get his name on the score-sheet to tie the game at 1. The puck was taken by Phil, proceeded to go off of Orlov’s skate and in past Holtby.

With 5:50 left, Kris Letang was sent to the sin bin for cross-checking and high-sticking T.J. Oshie.

With one second remaining on the double-minor, after tremendous work by both penalty-killing units, Oshie scored on a redirection to help the Caps go up 2-1.

The horn sounded two minutes later to end the period.

3rd Period

Early on, Jakub Vrana was called for holding the stick of Riley Sheahan and the Pens headed back to the power-play to try and tie the game.

The Penguins generated some fantastic chances, but Holtby stood tall to end the power-play.

Riley Sheahan drew another penalty when Madison Bowey cross-checked the centerman. This would be the fourth power-play of the night for Pittsburgh. The Capitals would eventually kill this one off too.

With six minutes left in the game, Chandler Stephenson effectively put the final nail in the coffin and put the Capitals up 3-1.

The Penguins were caught with too many men on the ice with about five minutes left in the 3rd period, giving the Caps another power-play. This power-play would be killed off by Pittsburgh.

An empty-netter by Vrana would seal this one and give the Caps a 4-1 victory.

Final Thoughts

  • Mr. Marvelous Matt Murray. Murray was fantastic tonight. He certainly did not deserve to lose this one. He was in position all night long, robbing Capitals left, right, and center.
  • Just one 5-on-5 goal for the Penguins tonight, and they were aided by the skate of Orlov there. The scoring struggle is still real.
  • The Penguins will conclude this back-to-back set tomorrow night when they travel to Nashville for the first time since raising the Stanley Cup back in June.