The Pittsburgh Penguins solved rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov for atleast one night as the Penguins scored 5 goals en route to a 5-3 win Friday night at Mellon Arena to tie the best of 7 series at 2-2.
After Niklas Backstrom, scored less than a minute into the game, Pittsburgh responded, scoring three unanswered goals as Sergei Gonchar, Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko all found the back of the net to push the Penguins lead to 3-1 at the end of the first period.
At 15:08 of the second period, Chris Clark cut the Penguins lead to 3-2, scoring his first goal of the playoffs.
Winger Miroslav Satan who was demoted to Wilkes Barre at the NHL trade deadline, played his best game of the playoffs and pushed the Penguins lead to 4-2 at 4:16 of the third period as Satan, Crosby connected on a 2-on-1 opportunity.
Satan came down the right side and made a beautiful pass through the legs of Capitals defenseman John Erskine and Sidney Crosby (9) one-timed the pass into a wide open net past Capitals goaltender Simeon Varlamov.
Washington responded 2:07 later as Milan Jurcina scored short-handed at 6:23 of the third period to cut the Penguins lead to 4-3.
Max Talbot put the game away at 14:46 of the third period beating Simeon Varlamov short side as the Penguins took a commanding 5-3 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
Marc Andre Fleury made 19 saves in the win.
After winning both games in Pittsburgh momentum has shifted to the Penguins as the two rivals head back to Washington for game 5 Saturday night.
A series doesn’t begin until the road team wins and Pittsburgh must win a game in Washington to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive game.
Capitals Forward Alexander Ovechkin was held pointless and only registered two shots on goal. The Penguins have been able to neutralize Ovechkin the past two games.
The Penguins have showed great gap control in both wins.
Ovechkin took the blame for the Capitals loss and was remorseful following the game on his knee-to-knee hit on his friend Sergei Gonchar.
The league will not suspend Ovechkin although a fine could be coming.
Sergei Gonchar will be re-evaluated in the morning and it’s being speculated that he will be sidelined for 1-2 weeks. The injury is not serious
Sidney Crosby scored his playoff leading 9th goal of the playoffs.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Washington.