The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Monday night at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The win improves the Capitals record to 21-6-2. The Penguins record dropped to 15-11-3. The starting lines for the Capitals:
Michael Latta, Aaron Ness and Chris Brown were the healthy scratches for tonight’s game with the Penguins.
The Capitals got off to a quick start once again. Braden Holtby continues his top level. T.J. Oshie had a really good game, with a number of big hits, two goals and an assist. The Capitals have allowed 30 shots or more in eight of their last 11 games. It took only two periods for the Penguins to tally 31 shots on goal tonight. The game ended with the Capitals being outshot 45-33.
John Carslon would stretch the Caps lead to 2-0 on a tap-in of his own rebound at the 7:04 mark of the opening frame, giving the Caps a quick 2-0 lead.
The Penguins would close the gap to 2-1 on a slapshot by Evgeny Malkin, assisted by Ben Lovejoy and Phill Kessel at 13:59 of the first period.
T.J. Oshie was whistled for the game’s first penalty for offensive zone interference at 16:04 of the opening frame. The Caps would successfully kill-off the penalty, as Braden Holtby made a couple of nice saves. The Caps would get their first power play of the game with 0:56 left in the period but were unable to convert. The first period ended with the Caps leading 2-1. The Penguins outshot the Caps 15-10 in the first period.
The Caps would not be able to generate much with the remaining power play time to open the middle frame. The Caps had two nice break-aways early but could not find the back of the net. The Caps would go back on the power play on a holding call on the Penguins Ian Cole at 7:53 of the second period. Alex Ovechkin had several blasts from “the Ovi spot” but otherwise a fruitless man-advantage. Taylor Chorney and Nick Bonino would drop the gloves late in the period. It was the first NHL regular season fight for Chorney. He had two AHL fights last year.
The second period would go scoreless, with the Caps holding a 2-1 lead.Penguins lead in SOG 31-24.
The third period started with quite a bit of end-to-end action with no sustained offensive zone time for either squad. Both goalies would make several nice saves to keep the score as-is. Brooks Laich would get called for hooking at the 6:28 mark of the final frame, but the Caps did well in killing off the penalty. T.J. Oshie would finally find the back of the net on a sweet wrap-around mid way through the period to give the Caps a 3-1 lead.
T.J. Oshie would add another in the last minute of play to seal the victory for the Caps 4-1.