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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Pittsburgh



(Thursday, January 21st)

Final Score: Washington 6, Pittsburgh 3

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin had two goals and one assist to help the Washington Capitals double up the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3, at Mellon Arena.

Mike Knuble and Tomas Fleischmann both registered a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have won five straight and lead the Eastern Conference with 70 points. Jose Theodore made 35 saves in the win.

"This week has been good for our confidence, especially beating these guys in their building," Theodore said.

Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins, while Nick Johnson lit the lamp in his NHL debut. Evgeni Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko each collected three assists in Pittsburgh's second loss in three games.

Brent Johnson turned aside 28 shots in his second straight start in place of injured Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who is sidelined with a broken finger.

The clubs were meeting for the first time since the Penguins ousted Washington in a memorable Eastern Conference semifinal series that went the distance, with Pittsburgh prevailing in Game 7 en route to the Stanley Cup.

"We just wanted to win this game, it didn't matter how," Ovechkin said. "We concentrated and deserved to win."

America's capital will host the second contest in the four-game season series on February 7.

Ovechkin's 31st goal of the season -- a power-play marker -- knotted the game at three with 3:35 remaining before the second intermission.

Washington grabbed the lead when Alexander Semin slipped a pass to a streaking Fleischmann and he snapped the puck past the Pittsburgh goaltender at the 2:32 mark of the third period.

Nicklas Backstrom scored on the power play 53 seconds later, roofing the puck on a wraparound for a 5-3 Capitals lead.

Ovechkin sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute.

"We knew it was going to be a good game. We knew the third was going to be the difference. They got a couple of big ones, and we didn't," Crosby said.

A miscue by Theodore on an innocuous-looking play resulted in a 1-0 lead for the Penguins.

The Washington netminder left his crease to handle a dump-in, but the puck caromed off his stick and slid into the crease. Fedotenko got a piece of the puck, but it sat on the goal line. Crosby followed up the play and poked it in at 4:22 of the first period for his 33nd goal of the season. The Pittsburgh captain entered play Thursday two goals behind San Jose's Patrick Marleau for the league lead.

The Capitals tied the game with 5:36 left in the opening frame. Brent Johnson initially stopped Ovechkin, but Knuble drove the crease and banged home the rebound.

Nick Johnson tied the game at two at the 2:50 mark of the middle stanza, just 28 seconds after Eric Fehr had given Washington the lead on a shot that Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik accidentally redirected into the net.

Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead at 10:46 on a one-timer by Letang in the high slot. The tally came just as Capitals rookie defenseman John Carlson, who scored the overtime winner for Team USA against host Canada in the gold medal game at the World Junior Championship earlier this month, vacated the penalty box.

Game Notes

Ovechkin has six goals and 12 assists during an eight-game point streak...Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn had two helpers...Carlson picked up an assist on Fehr's goal for his first NHL point...The Capitals host Phoenix on Saturday, while Pittsburgh travels to Philadelphia on Sunday.

01/22 00:49:25 ET

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