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Insider Only Post-Game Reactions: Pens dominant in several stretches but fall to Caps in OT

Washington 3 – Pittsburgh 2

PIT Goal Scorers: James Neal (2)
WAS Goal Scorers: Mike Knuble, Alexander Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman
Goaltending Matchup: PIT – Brent Johnson (16 saves on 19 shots) | WAS – Tomas Vokoun (39 saves on 41 shots)
Three Stars
1. Dennis Wideman – 1 Goal *GW, 22:00 TOI)
2. James Neal – 2 Goals, 8 shots on goal
3. Mike Knuble – 1 Goal

Post-Game Reactions

Wideman wins it in OT: Dennis Wideman’s power-play goal 2:48 into overtime lifted the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night and the Capitals 8th straight win in Pittsburgh.
Washington improved to 3-0 on the season, while Pittsburgh fell to 3-0-2 on the year. The Penguins have recorded points in all five games this season.
A Jordan Staal tripping penalty on Alexander Ovechkin put the Capitals on the power play in overtime and Wideman rifled a shot from just inside the right circle past goaltender Brent Johnson as Washington improved to 12-1-2 in their last 14 games vs Pittsburgh.
Wideman’s OT marker was the first power play goal that Pittsburgh had given up this season. The Penguins came into the game 16-for-16 on the PK and are 16-for-17 on the season.
Alexander Ovechkin scored 40 seconds into the third period, his first goal of the season for the Capitals, giving Washington a 2-1 lead early in the third.
James Neal who scored twice, sent the game to overtime, scoring a power play goal with 3:45 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-2. Neal has 4 goals in five games this season.
Center Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup, finishing with 2 assists in 22:35 of ice time.
Brent Johnson made 16 saves in the loss. Tomas Vokoun was excellent in goal, making 39 saves to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Mark Letestu was a healthy scratch as Richard Park made his way into the lineup for the third straight game after being a healthy scratch for the first two games to open the season.
Asham calls taunt classless: It was Arron Asham’s fight with Capitals 4th liner Jay Beagle not Dennis Wideman’s OT winning goal that all of the buzz after the game was about. Asham knocked out Beagle cold with a hard right during a third period fight and with Beagle out cold, Asham skated away making a sleeping gesture to the crowd. Asham called the taunt classless and that he was caught up in the moment. What do you think?
Pens push the tempo/play in loss: Losing to the Washington Capitals is always tough for the Penguins but the Penguins put together another strong overall game. They played Dan Bylsma type of hockey pushing the play for several instances throughout the game and dominating for stretches.
Pittsburgh outshot Washington 41 to 19 in the game, including advantages of 12 to 3 in period one and 18-3 in the third period.
Neal continues to shine: One week into the season, winger James Neal has 4 goals in five game, scoring twice in tonight’s 3-2 OT loss. Neal continues to play with the type of aggressiveness he was accustomed to playing with in Dallas and it’s been a big reason for his offensive surge.
Neal had a team-high 8 shots on goal and what you saw tonight from him was scoring goal scorers type of goals.
Malkin returns from knee soreness: Evgeni  Malkin returned to the lineup and energized the Penguins for most of the night, showing great poise and command with the puck, assisting on both of James Neal’s goals, including the primary setup on Neal’s third period marker.
Malkin logged 22:35 of ice time and won a team-high 11 face-offs.
Notes
*Pittsburgh went 1-for-5 in the game on the power play. The Penguins are 6-for-25 on the season.
*Chris Kunitz recorded his 100th point as a Penguin, collecting an assist.
*Alexander Ovechkin’s third period tally was his 19th career goal vs Pittsburgh.
*Mike Knuble scored his 31st career goal vs Pittsburgh.
*Points streak for Kris Letang and Jordan Staal came to an end. Letang logged a team high 28:04 of ice time.
Matt Niskanen appeared in his 300th career game.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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