On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to ten games with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Pittsburgh was led by their defense and the Consol Energy Center crowd, as they were on fire throughout the game, especially the third period.
The first period ended in a scoreless tie, but each side had their chances. Braden Holtby stopped Paul Martin early on a play that was similar to one that the Penguins would run with Ryan Whitney. Marc-Andre Fleury responded with a save on Jason Chimera, who had an open look. It looked like we were in for a goaltending battle as the Penguins held the slight advantage in shots, 11-10.
The Washington Capitals seemed to kick it up a notch in the second period. At 6:49 Chris Kunitz took a tripping penalty and put Washington on the power play. It didn’t take long for Alex Ovechkin to strike when he jumped on a rebound and beat Fleury to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead. Pittsburgh would then get their chance on the power play when Chimera hooked Dustin Jeffrey at 9:11. The different look power play, without Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, took some time to gel until Martin would take a Sidney Crosby pass and blast it by Holtby to tie the game at one. Just as the first period ended, the second period ended with the two teams tied.
The third period had sort of a lull feeling to it until the 7:49 mark of the period. Matt Cooke was penalized for boarding Ovechkin, but that wasn’t all he would get. Cooke appeared to give the officials some choice words, which gave him another two minutes and put Pittsburgh on the penalty kill for four minutes. The Penguins would kill off the entire four-minute power play, and with the crowd charged up and back at even strength, Pittsburgh would start back towards Holtby on the rush. Crosby and Cooke would lead the rush, but would find Matt Niskanen trailing behind them. Niskanen then rifled a shot past Holtby to give the Penguins the 2-1 lead with eight minutes remaining. That is all Fleury would need as he put up a brick wall for the remaining time.
Pittsburgh makes a visit to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders Friday night (7:00 pm/est; Root Sports, NHL Network) as they look to keep the win streak going.
-The Penguins became the first team in NHL history to have a ten-game winning streak in three straight seasons.
-Sidney Crosby registered his 200th multi-point game and 100th multi-assist game with Matt Niskanen’s goal.
1. Matt Niskanen (1 goal)
2. Marc-Andre Fleury (28 saves, .966 save %)
3. Braden Holtby (34 saves, .944 save %)