|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET21:00 BRT, February 25, 2021
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 0
Penguins determined to maintain dominance vs. Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
- The Penguins beat the Capitals, 3-2, in overtime on Tuesday, to improve to 4-1-0 against Washington this season with three of those victories coming past regulation. Only four of Pittsburgh's 10 wins this season have come in regulation, and the only teams with fewer regulation wins are Ottawa (three) and San Jose (three).
- Pittsburgh won Tuesday on Kasperi Kapanen's goal 1:43 into overtime after being tied at 2 after two periods. The Penguins are 8-6-1 in games trailing or tied after two periods and that .567 points percentage trails only Toronto (.611, 5-3-1) and Boston (.600, 5-3-2) for the best in the NHL.
- Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist Tuesday, giving him three goals and five assists in five games against Washington this season. He has three goals and four assists in 12 games against all other teams.
- The Penguins are the league's only team without a power-play goal in the third period this season. The Capitals, meanwhile, have yielded just two power-play goals in the third period, and only the Flames (zero), Avalanche (one) and Rangers (one) have allowed fewer.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov had an assist Tuesday, giving him five points (two goals, three assists) in five games against the Penguins this season. Over his first seven seasons in the league, Kuznetsov tallied 14 points in 26 games vs. Pittsburgh, and that average of 0.54 points per game was his lowest against any team.
- Washington was limited to just 22 shots Tuesday -- already the sixth time this season it finished with fewer than 25 shots in a game. The Caps had fewer than 25 shots in just four games all of last season.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins have found success against the Washington Capitals early this season, winning four of the first five meetings. Pittsburgh will try to add to that when it comes to Washington on Thursday night for another matchup.
The last victory came on Tuesday came when the Penguins used a Kasperi Kapanen goal just 1:43 into overtime for a 3-2 victory over Washington. The speed that Pittsburgh employs on a regular basis bothered the Capitals on many occasions, a big reason the Penguins out-shot them 37-22.
"I thought we were playing the game hard," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "We were trying to play the right way. It wasn't perfect by any stretch, but there aren't too many games that are. But I thought from top to bottom we were playing hard."
The Penguins also got goals from Jake Guentzel (plus an assist) along with Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh has won three straight games and five of their last six overall.
Also, the status of forward Jason Zucker was unknown as of mid-Wednesday as he was being evaluated for a lower-body injury suffered midway through the third period. Pittsburgh also announced Wednesday that it claimed defenseman Mark Friedman from the Flyers off waivers.
The Penguins expected Friedman to join them for Thursday's game with Washington.
Sidney Crosby played in career game No. 1,001 but did not score a point in Tuesday's win.
These two teams have built up a rivalry over the years, and dropping a game to the Penguins -- even though Washington picked up a point since the game went into overtime -- did not make the Caps happy.
"We don't like losing to those guys," Washington forward Tom Wilson said. "These are big points, big games, and I think if we put a little more emphasis into the full 60-minute game, maybe we can get an upper hand and get a goal lead or something like that.
Rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek came back to the ice after getting a break in the Capitals' last game. He returned and played well, making 34 saves and once again keeping Washington in the game.
For the Capitals, Richard Panik and Conor Sheary -- formerly a Penguin -- scored the goals.
Washington got some good news off the ice regarding its goalie situation.
Henrik Lundqvist returned to the ice Tuesday for the first time since having open-heart surgery back in early January.
The Washington goalie posted videos on his Instagram and Twitter accounts of him facing shots and working on movement at a rink in New Jersey. There was no comment afterward regarding whether or not he'd be able to return to the ice this season.
The surgery, according to earlier announcements, was for an "aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement."
The Washington Post said that coach Peter Laviolette mentioned that goalie Ilya Samsonov, penciled in as the starter before the season began, might get the start for the AHL's Hershey Bears on Wednesday. He's not been in an NHL contest since Jan. 17 after his COVID-19 test came up positive two days later.
As of now, Samsonov remains on the Capitals' taxi squad.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 24, 2021