Penguins Beat Capitals 3-2, Take 1-0 Series Lead

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinal on Thursday night at Verizon Center. The Penguins take a 1-0 lead in the series. Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday at Verizon Center. Puck drop is 8:00 pm.

Braden Holtby got the start in goal for the Capitals. Marc-Andre Fleury got the start between the pipes for the Penguins.

Karl Alzner missed a fifth consecutive game due to an undisclosed “upper body injury”. Nate Schmidt replaced Alzner and was paired with John Carlson.

Taylor Chorney, Chandler Stephenson and Paul Carey were the healthy scratches for Game 1.


  • After a scoreless first, Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds at the start of the second period.
  • The Capitals would rally with two unanswered goals, by Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, before the Penguins would regain the lead late on a goal by Bonino.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals’ 361st consecutive sellout at Verizon Center.
  • The Capitals outhit the Penguins 41-17.

The first period would go scoreless, and a tale of two halves to the period. The Penguins would hold the edge and a majority of the offensive zone time for the first 10 minutes of play, outshooting the Caps 4-1. The Capitals would gain the edge in the second half of the period, outshooting the Pens 5-0 for the final 10 minutes. Shots on goal were 6-4 in favor of the Capitals for the opening frame. The Capitals led in 5v5 shot attempts 16-12. The Caps held a slight edge in faceoffs, winning 53%. The Caps led in hits 13-8.

The Penguins would strike first with a goal just 12 seconds into the second period by Sidney Crosby.

Sidney Crosby would make it 2-0 with his second goal at 1:04 of the middle frame.

Alex Ovechkin would cut the lead in half with a blast from the top of the slot at 18:17 of the middle frame.

John Walton with the call:

The period would end with the Penguins leading 2-1. The Capitals outshot the Penguins 13-11 for the second period, and 19-15 thru two periods of play.

Evgeny Kuznetsov would tie the game with a close-range follow-up at 8:05 of the third period.

John Wallton’s call:

The Penguins would regain the lead with a goal by Nick Bonino at 12:36 of the final frame.

The Penguins would hang on for the 3-2 win, to take a 1-0 series lead.

Highlights from the Washington Capitals:


By Jon Sorensen


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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