Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored just 17 seconds into the contest to give the Caps an early lead and a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission. After a scoreless middle frame, Alex Ovechkin made it 2-0 early in the final frame before the Penguins responded with three unanswered goals to take the lead early in the third period. And that would be the final. Game 2 is set for Sunday at 3:00 p.m. At Capital One Arena.
Braden Holtby (4-1, 1.92 GAA, .932 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Matt Murray (4-2, 2.20 GAA, .911 sv%) started in goal for the Penguins. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the game:
Scratches: Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerebek and Andre Burakovsky (upper body injury).
The Capitals wasted just 17 seconds to light the lamp in this one. Alex Ovechkin fed Evgeny Kuznetsov for the first goal of the series at 0:17 of the opening frame. Ovechkin and Tom Wilson were credited with the assists.
And that would be all of the scoring in a furious first period. Pittsburgh outshot Washington 9-6 for the first 20 minutes. Caps won the faceoff battle 61-39%. There were no penalties.
The Capitals and Penguins were scoreless in the middle frame. Washington outshot Pittsburgh 10-8 in the second period. The Penguins were 0 for 1 and the Capitals 0 for 0 on the man advantage in the middle frame.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Alex Ovechkin just 28 seconds into the final frame. Tom Wilson and Dmitry Orlov were credited with the assists.
The Penguins respond with a goal from Patric Hornqvist at 2:59 of the third period.
The Penguins tied the game with a goal from Sidney Crosby at 5:20 of the final frame.
The Penguins would take the lead on a goal Jake Guentzel at 7:48 of the third period.
The Penguins would hang on for the 3-2 win.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 17 seconds into the game. That’s two seconds shy of the Capitals’ franchise record for the fastest goal to start a playoff game (Mike Gartner: 15 seconds, April 8, 1987 versus New York Islanders).
- In the Ovechkin era, the Capitals are now 4-4 in a playoff series when they drop Game 1. They’re 3-5 when they win Game 1. (Ted Starkey).
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT