Alexander Ovechkin had two goals and 1 assist, including 10 shots on goal as the Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. Ovechkin and the Caps outshot the Penguins 42-29 and broke the game wide open in the third period outscoring the Penguins 4-1 in the third period. The Penguins 9-16-1 in their last 26 games suffered not only a costly lost in the standings but also to their roster. Defenseman Rob Scuderi took a puck in the face in the first period. Scuderi left the game and did not return. Forwards Max Talbot and Sidney Crosby were also injured injured in the third period. Both players did not return. Crosby was favoring his left leg and Talbot has an upper body injury. Updates on both players will not be known until tomorrow afternoon‚Äôs practice.
The Penguins got goals from Evgeni Malkin (18), Miroslav Satan (13), and Ryan Whitney (1). Whitney led the Penguins in ice time (28:45). Satan‚Äôs second period goal was his 350th career goal. Satan snapped a 14 game scoreless drought. Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins with 12 shots on goal. Sidney Crosby added 2 assists prior to leaving the game. The Penguins are now (21-20-4) on the season. Good for 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Penguins scratches were defensemen Mark Eaton (healthy), Philippe Boucher (healthy) and Pascal Dupuis (ankle).
1. Boston Bruins 68 pts
2. Washington Capitals 59 pts
3. New York Rangers 56 pts
4. Montreal Canadiens 56 pts
5. Philadelphia Flyers 55 pts
6. New Jersey Devils 53 points
7. Buffalo Sabres 47 points
8. Carolina Hurricanes 47 points
9. Florida Panthers 46 points
10. Pittsburgh Penguins 46 points
Most glaring stat of the season: 137 GF ‚Äì 143 GA
Post Game Wrapup
Both teams were coming off of back to back games. It was a great up and down game during the first two periods but the Penguins took some costly penalties that changed the momentum in the game.
Missed opportunities: The Penguins had a lot of prime scoring opportunities early in the game, including a breakaway from Sidney Crosby and a few two-on-one‚Äôs. Jordan Staal had a great chance on a two-on-one with Petr Sykora in the first period but Staal was very indecisive when the Caps defenseman was giving Staal the shooting lane. The Penguins let the Caps hang around and in the third period, Capitals just took it to the Penguins scoring four times.
Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin combined for 17 shots on goal. Malkin was shooting the puck from everywhere tonight recording 12 shots on goal while Sidney Crosby only had one.
Marc Andre Fleury faced 42 shots but he didn’t have a strong game. He wasn’t controlling his rebounds and he needs to perform better for the Penguins to stay in the playoff picture.
Rob Scuderi is 5th in the NHL with 108 blocked shots. Scuderi is playing his best hockey of his career at the right time. (UFA following the season).
Offensively the Capitals can score with the best of them but their biggest need at the deadline is a stay at home defensemen. They are stuck with Jose Theodore who remains a questionmark. Despite being off to a great start, I don’t see the Capitals as a Stanley Cup contender just yet.
Michel Therrien talked after the game that the Penguins couldn’t keep up with the Capitals level after losing key players throughout the game.
more to come in the morning.