NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Washington|
(Tuesday, March 27th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ryan Whitney scored two goals to lead the
Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals at Verizon
Center. With the victory, the Penguins officially clinched a playoff berth for
the first time since 2001.
Sidney Crosby and Michel Ouellet also scored for Pittsburgh, which has won
three straight and, with 98 points, remained even with the New Jersey Devils
in the Atlantic Division. The Devils, who defeated the Islanders on Tuesday,
currently hold the tie-breaker due to one more win than Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for the Penguins, who have now captured eight
of their last 10 games overall.
Alexander Semin and Boyd Gordon scored for the Capitals, who have lost four
consecutive games. Olaf Kolzig allowed four goals on 29 shots in the loss.
Before the midpoint of the first period, the Caps held a 2-0 lead. Semin
opened the scoring with his 38th goal of the season at the 5:59 mark. Alex
Ovechkin sent a pass from the outer rim of the left circle to the top of the
crease, where Semin was all alone and easily shifted to his backhand and beat
With 10:42 remaining in the opening stanza, Gordon made it a two-goal lead.
Matt Pettinger sent a weak one-timer from the left slot that was saved, but
once again a defensive breakdown -- this one by Crosby -- left a Washington
forward all alone in front of the net and Gordon swept the disc inside the
Ouellet's power-play tally less than three minutes later cut the Pens deficit
in half. Defenseman Brooks Orpik sent a wrist shot from the center point that
hit traffic in front before the rebound was punched home by Ouellet from the
Another Washington penalty led to Whitney's first goal of the game at the 1:10
mark of the second frame. The Pens worked the puck around the perimeter with
the extra skater and Crosby sent a pass across the slot for a successful one-
timer by Whitney from inside the left circle.
The undisciplined hosts continued to hurt themselves with penalties and when
Jeff Schultz was whistled for holding near the five-minute mark, Crosby's 35th
goal of the season and the third Pittsburgh power-play goal of the game moved
the visitors in front for good at 6:21. The assists were credited to Evgeni
Malkin and Sergei Gonchar.
Whitney tallied again with 4:08 remaining before the second intermission to
create a 4-2 lead and Fleury shut the door with 14 saves in the final stanza
until Milan Jurcina scored with the 6-on-5 advantage in the final minute.
The Capitals had a chance for the equalizer when an icing call led to a
faceoff in their offensive zone with six seconds remaining, but to no avail as
Pittsburgh completed the sweep of the four-game season series.
The Penguins improved to 19-14-5 on the road this season...Washington has
dropped 13 of its last 15 games overall...The Pens have won eight of the last
nine versus Washington, which finished scoreless on three power-play chances.
The visitors went 3-for-5 with the extra skater...The Caps won 32 of the 55
faceoffs...Attendance was 18,277.
03/27 23:39:07 ET