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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Pittsburgh

(Sunday, February 18th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - In a battle of two of the game's top young stars, it was Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins getting the best of this installment, downing Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals 3-2 at Mellon Arena.

Crosby finished with only an assist and Ovechkin went without a point for a bit of an anticlimactic outcome to the anticipated duel.

Instead it was Mark Recchi, Evgeni Malkin and Maxime Talbot scoring for the red-hot Penguins, who have registered a point in 16 straight games and have won six in a row. Jocelyn Thibault made 29 saves in victory.

Richard Zednik and Alexander Semin had the goals for Washington, which has dropped three straight. Brent Johnson finished with 23 stops.

The home team established a 1-0 lead 5:59 into the contest, as Sergei Gonchar's shot from the point was redirected by Recchi in front before slipping past Johnson for the power-play tally.

Washington scored in similar fashion just over a minute later to even the contest. With his team on the attack, Jeff Schultz ripped a shot from the point that caromed off Zednik and in with 12:56 to play in the opening frame.

Pittsburgh, though, countered with two unanswered goals to gain command.

With time running down in the second stanza, Malkin flew behind the net and then dished the puck to Gonchar, who fed it right back to Malkin in the right circle. The rookie center finished off the sequence with a one-timer to give his team a 2-1 advantage.

The Penguins made it a two-goal game 1:10 into the third on a one-timer by Talbot from the left circle.

The Capitals had a great chance to climb within one when Semin drew a penalty shot with 5:56 to play after being taken down from behind, but his backhand attempt rang off the post.

He made amends with 44 seconds remaining and his goalie pulled, when the left winger tucked a shot through the five-hole from the slot to make it 3-2. Thibault, though, was able to keep the Capitals off the board the rest of the way.

Game Notes

The Penguins have been dominant at home as of late. The team has won eight in a row at the Igloo and own an 18-8-4 record as the host this season...Ovechkin edged out Crosby for last year's Calder Trophy honoring the NHL's top rookie...Pittsburgh has taken all three meetings with Washington this season and has won seven of the last eight games in this series.

02/18 18:35:15 ET

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