WASHINGTON – The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 at Capital One Arena for the first time in eight games on Wednesday.
Jake Guentzel scored a goal and an assist for the Penguins (5-6-2), who were 0-6-1 in the previous seven games from a 4-0-1 start. Casey DeSmith made 24 saves for his first win of the season (1-3-1).
“It was the most immersive game we’ve ever played,” said DeSmith. “Everyone stepped up, especially the penalty killers – the defenders of course. And then we got some goals from some big boys.”
Video: [email protected]: McGinn fires a shot that slips into a SHG
Markus Johanson scored for the Capitals (6-7-2), who lost five of six. Darcy Kumper Made 24 saves.
“I feel like we came out on the right track, but we weren’t rewarded for it, and after that the scales tipped their side,” Washington said Lars Eller said. “We just weren’t good enough to win today.”
The Capitals were 0-for-4 on the power play; the penguins were 0-for-3.
Jason Sugar gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 7:43 of the second period when he shot the puck from above the goal line near the right corner. Behind Kuemper, the puck lay loosely in the goal area and the goalkeeper smashed it in with his left leg.
“It was a shot that somehow bounced between my legs and dripped behind me,” said Kümper. “And then I tried to squeeze my legs together to get a whistle and unfortunately I kicked it in.”
Video: [email protected]: Zucker scores in the 2nd third
Brock McGinn12:53 outnumbered made it 2:0. Carter caught a clear at the blue line and passed to McGinn, whose shot trickled through the five-hole from just inside the right faceoff circle.
“We wanted to get the puck out of the hands of their D-men as soon as possible,” McGinn said. “I think ‘Carts’ turned out well [play] I read it on the wall and then brought the puck to me and I was just lucky to hit there.
Jeff Petry with a high slap shot from the middle to 3:0 to 15:05.
Johanssen drew the Capitals to 3-1 at 12:22 of the third period when he hit a pass from the slot Sonny Milano behind the net.
At a score of 18:24, Güntzel hit the empty goal to make it 4:1.
“It was tight both ways. I think every time you play Pittsburgh it’s kind of a game that gets a little muddy,” said Capitals coach Peter Laviolette. “It’s not a lot of space. It’s not pretty. It’s not flashy and so we’ve had looks, we’ve had opportunities, eventually got one in the third, but probably too little, too late.”
Video: [email protected]: Petry sinks a shot from the blue line
The Penguins then played with four defenders Pierre Olivier Joseph (lower body injury) and Jan Ruetta (upper body) left the game in the second period.
“I think everyone understands the situation that maybe we need to have a little bit faster and shorter shifts,” the Pittsburgh defenseman said Markus Pettersson said. “Our forwards had to help and I think they did a great job getting pucks deep for us so we could switch.”
Forward Jeff Carter played one shift in defense when Petry went briefly to the dressing room in the third.
“I’m not sure if he can skate backwards,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “But he’s a pretty smart player and we thought we could use his wealth of experience in the league to help him.”
REMARKS: Center penguins Sydney Crosby (Assist) has 85 points (28 goals, 57 assists) in 63 games against the Capitals Forward Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has 61 points (32 goals, 29 assists). … Carter played 14:18 on his return after missing three games with a lower body injury. … Güntzel has 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 20 games against the Capitals. … Ovechkin’s six-game points streak (five goals, two assists) ended. … Milano had an assist for his first point in three games with Washington. … defender of the Capitals Alexander Alexeyev played 11:48 and had a shot on goal in his debut of the season.
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