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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Pittsburgh



(Wednesday, January 25th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 8, Washington 1

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Mark Recchi and John LeClair scored two goals apiece as Pittsburgh defeated the Washington Capitals, 8-1, at Mellon Arena in the Penguins' first game without the newly retired Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux announced his retirement on Tuesday afternoon, ending the second phase of his career that began with his late 2000 comeback. The team has gotten used to being without No. 66, as he had been sidelined since last month with an irregular heartbeat.

Sidney Crosby tallied a goal and three assists, Tomas Surovy scored his seventh goal of the season and Sergei Gonchar had three helpers for the Penguins, who snapped a season-long 10-game losing streak. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves and Eric Boguniecki added his second goal of the season for Pittsburgh.

"It's nice to get a reward, seeing your team like we have been seeing here," Pittsburgh head coach Michel Therrien said. "They have been playing pretty hard, but they never get rewarded. Finally, tonight, there were a lot of guys who had a great game. It was a good team effort. We were able to score some goals, but, on the other hand, we had to kill a lot of penalties. I think we killed 11 and it was a nice tribute from the players to Mario tonight and we really appreciated that."

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 34th goal of the season and Olaf Kolzig stopped 29 of 37 shots for the Capitals, who lost for the second time since having a four-game winning streak snapped.

"It was still 3-1 going into the third and we still had an opportunity with a three-minute power play to do something," Washington head coach Glen Hanlon said. "We didn't respond. When we hit and play physical, we are way more successful and that wasn't the case tonight. We were too far moved from one- on-one puck battles and bad physical play."

Pittsburgh drew first blood with 3:05 left in the first period after LeClair, who was in the slot, one-timed a pass from Michel Ouellet past Kolzig.

Washington netted the equalizer 5:22 into the second stanza while on the power play after Ovechkin snapped a shot past Fleury's glove from the left circle to make it a 1-1 contest.

Pittsburgh, however, scored the next seven goals to seal the win.

The Penguins regained the lead just over three minutes later while on the man advantage after Recchi one-timed a cross-ice pass from Crosby past Kolzig.

Pittsburgh extended its lead to 3-1 with less than five minutes to go in the second period after Recchi one-timed a shot past Kolzig from the right circle for a power-play tally.

The Pens upped their lead to 4-1 just 1:04 into the final frame after LeClair, who was camped in the slot to screen Kolzig, tipped a shot from the high slot over Kolzig's right pad for another power-play goal.

Pittsburgh made it 5-1 midway through the third period after Surovy finished a 2-on-1 break with a one-timer from the left circle. Less than three minutes later, Crosby gathered a pass at the side of the Capitals' net, kicked the puck to his forehand while avoiding a Washington defender and beat Kolzig stick side.

Less than 20 seconds after that, LeClair threw a blind shot on goal that caromed off the skate of Boguniecki and through Kolzig's five hole to make it 7-1. Ryan Malone finished the scoring with 4:26 left in the game after he beat Kolzig high to the stick side on a penalty shot.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh, which scored a season-high eight goals, had been held to two goals or less in seven of its previous eight games...Washington has lost four straight at Pittsburgh and has just five wins in its last 28 trips to Mellon Arena...It was Crosby's first career four-point night...Pittsburgh finished 3-for-7 on the power play, while Washington went 1-for-11...The Caps outshot Pittsburgh 15-5 in the second period, but the Pens outshot the Caps 18-6 in the third period.

01/25 22:55:52 ET


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