NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Washington
(Sunday, March 9th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Washington 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby scored two goals, including the game-winner with 28.3 seconds left in the third period, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-2, at Verizon Center.
With the Penguins putting on the heavy offensive pressure in the final minute of play, Hal Gill's shot from the middle point went wide, but Crosby directed the puck toward the net and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who was standing in the goal crease, put the disc into his own net to give the Pens a 3-2 lead.
Washington then pulled Cristobal Huet in favor of the extra attacker, but couldn't get the equalizer and Jordan Staal's empty-net tally with 13 ticks left accounted for the final margin.
Petr Sykora also tallied, while Evgeni Malkin chipped in with three assists for the Penguins, who have won three of their last four.
Marc-Andre Fleury was solid, stopping 36-of-38 shots for Pittsburgh, which has 85 points and sits one behind the idle New Jersey Devils for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Alexander Semin led Washington with a goal and an assist, while Brooks Laich also tallied. Huet made 22 saves for the Capitals, who have dropped two straight and three of their last five.
With the game even at 2-2 after two periods of play, both teams had several quality scoring chances for the majority of the third, but could not light the lamp.
Washington got a gift power play when the Pens were whistled for too many men on the ice with 4:58 left, but the Caps were unable to capitalize, prior to Pittsburgh scoring twice in the final 30 seconds.
After a hard-hitting scoreless first period that saw both teams combine for 15 shots on goal and few quality chances, the Capitals got a power-play marker 7:23 into the second.
With Brooks Orpik in the box serving a slashing minor, Semin got the puck at the left circle, skated to the middle of the high slot and fired a wrist shot that was tipped home by Laich, who was standing in front, giving the Caps the advantage.
However, the Penguins answered 1:19 later. Sykora took a nice feed from Malkin at center ice, carried it into the Caps defensive zone and beat Huet with a quick wrister from the right circle to even the contest.
Crosby's even-strength tally with 1:52 left in the stanza gave the Pens the brief edge. After Malkin's blast from the top of the right circle was knocked down in front, Crosby put the rebound past the Washington netminder to make it a 2-1 game.
The Caps responded with 14 seconds remaining in the frame while skating with a 5-on-3 advantage. Semin, from in close, shoveled a forehander past Fleury on the short side to tie the contest heading into the second intermission.
Attendance was 18,277...Pittsburgh will host Buffalo on Wednesday night, while Washington will host Calgary...The Pens improved to 3-0-1 against the Caps this season and have won 11 of the last 13 matchups...Pittsburgh ended its three-game road trip and is now 20-14-2 away from home...Washington fell to 17-15-3 as the hosts.
03/09 15:43:57 ET