Capitals Beat Penguins 3-1; Jakub Vrana Scores 5th Goal Of The Season

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The win improves the Capitals record to 7-4-3 (17 points) on the season. They are now in fourth place, five points behind the Boston Bruins.


Vitek Vanecek (5-3-0-2, 3.26 GAA, .901 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Capitals. Tristan Jarry (3-4-0-1, 3.82 GAA, .864 sv%) got the start in goal for the Penguins. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Trevor van Riemsdyk, Jonas Siegenthaler and Daniel Sprong.

The Capitals and Penguins skated to a scoreless draw in the first frame. The Capitals survived 21 seconds of a Penguins 5-on-3 power play early in the frame to keep the game scoreless. Pittsburgh was 0 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 0 on power plays in the first frame.

Shot attempts were tied 14-14 for the opening period. The Capitals led in shots on goal 15-13 for the first 20 minutes. The Capitals led in expected goals 1.58 to .83 for the opening frame.

The Capitals finally broke the seal on the scoring with a goal from Conor Sheary (3) at 4:52 of the second period. Richard Panik (3) and Nick Jensen (3) had the helpers.

The Capitals would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a tally from Jakub Vrana (5) at 11:31 of the middle frame. TJ Oshie (6) and Nicklas Backstrom (12) had the assists.

The second period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. The Capitals were 0 for 4 and the Penguins 0 for 2 on the power play after 40 minutes. The Capitals led in shots on goal 19-5 for the period and led 34-18 after two periods.

The Capitals would make it 3-0 with a goal from Lars Eller (2) at 1:09 of the final frame. Richard Panik (4) and Zdeno Chara (3) had the helpers.

The Penguins would get a late goal from Zach Aston-Reese (3) at 15:05 of the final frame.

And that would be the final.

The Capitals are back on the ice Thursday when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 p.m.


  • Vitek Vanecek made his 11th straight start for the Capitals.
  • Vanecek made 26 of 27 saves for a .963 game save percentage.
  • Capitals led in shots on goal 42-27.
  • The Capitals’ 42 shots and +15 shot differential against Pittsburgh are both season highs.
  • Lars Eller gave the Caps a 3-0 lead. He’s now one point shy of his 300th career point (134g, 165a).
  • Lars Eller led the Capitals in shots with 7 in the game.
  • Faceoffs were a tie 50-50%.
  • Nic Dowd won nine of his 11 faceoffs taken (82%), including four faceoffs wins in six defensive zone draws (67%).
  • Lars Eller tied Dowd for the team lead in faceoffs won, winning 9 of his 14 draws (64%).
  • The Capitals were 0 for5 and the Penguins 0 for 3 on the power play.
  • Conor Sheary opened the scoring for the Caps. That marks his third goal of the season and the 75th of his career.
  • In seven career games against Pittsburgh, Conor Sheary has five goals.
  • Jakub Vrana scores his fifth goal of the season to extend the Capitals’ lead to 2-0. Vrana has scored goals in back-to-back games and has four points (2g, 2a) over his last four games.
  • Richard Panik recorded the primary assist on Sheary’s goal, marking Panik’s 100th career assist.
  • T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom recorded the assists on Vrana’s goal. Since 2015-16, Backstrom (8g-21a-29p) and Oshie (13g-15a-28p) have the most points against Pittsburgh among all NHL skaters.

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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2 Responses to Capitals Beat Penguins 3-1; Jakub Vrana Scores 5th Goal Of The Season

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Caps Clips: At Last

  2. Marky says:

    That’s what it should look like! Total team effort. Everyone’s gushing about the 3rd lines impressive performance.

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