Sunday Evening Coming Down: Penguins beat Caps 6-2


The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins played a chaotic slobberknocker of hockey for an hour on Sunday night.

Bryan Rust and Trevor Daley put the Pens ahead in the first period. Jason Chimera and Andre Burakovsky tied the game in the second, but Tom Kuhnhackl gave Pittsburgh the lead after forty, which Matt Cullen and Chris Kunitz extended in the third. Holtby got pulled, and then Justin Schultz welcomed Philipp Grubauer to the game.

Wow. That was brutal. Pens beat Caps 6-2.

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: No Slouch


This evening’s foe, the Pittsburgh Penguins, played yesterday, defeating the Flyers’ 4-1. A tired Penguins team might imply good things for Sunday’s game, but Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby played just 19:56 on Saturday– the first time he’s ducked under 20 minutes since Evgeni Malkin went out with injury a week ago.

Don’t believe the hype. The Penguins have rebounded since canning Mike Johnston, and they’ve been genuinely fearsome since the trade deadline. This will be a tough game.

Puck drop is at 6 PM on NBC Sports.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 51-14-5 51.3% 101.8 23.2% (1st) 84.1% (4th)
Pittsburgh Penguins 39-24-8 52.5% 100.4 17.8% (19th) 83.8% (6th)

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Rabblerousers! Caps beat Pens 3-2


The cast of Veep was in the house (Photo: Matt Walsh)

The Pittsburgh Penguins had won the last three games at Verizon Center, but that’s over now. A certain former Penguin defenseman scored a big power-play goal to send the Pens out of town disappointed.

Evgeny Malkin had the lone goal of the first period, the result of a strong drive by him and the Thrill. Patric Hornqvist made it 2-0 in the second, but Mike Richards (aided by Tom Wilson) scrambled effectively in the offensive zone to get the Caps on the board. Before the second period was up, Evgeny Kuznetsov added his contribution, tying the game 2-2 entering the third period.

With Evgeni Malkin in the box for high-sticking, former Penguin Matt Niskanen gave the Caps the lead with six minutes remaining. Oshie did not score the empty netter, gosh darn it.

Caps beat Pens 3-2!

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Caps vs Penguins Pregame: Make Up and Break Up


Weber is a tank (Photo: Caps)

Tonight’s Caps game was originally scheduled for that mondo storm. That obviously didn’t happen, so now the Caps have four games to play in five nights.

If they weren’t a billion points ahead in the east, we would be cranky.

Caps vs Pens tonight at 7:30 PM on NBC Sports. The Pens keep beating the Caps at Verizon Center, so let’s see a full 60 tonight.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-12-4 51.8% 101.9 23.7% (1st) 84.0% (4th)
Pittsburgh Penguins 32-21-8 51.6% 100.2 18.4% (16th) 83.8% (6th)

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GIF Recap: TJ Oshie’s Big Night


Photo: Gregory Shamus

The Capitals beat the Penguins 4-1 in Pittsburgh on Monday night despite getting outshot 45-34. Braden Holtby had a career high 44 saves, T.J. Oshie recorded two goals, one assist and four hits (one of which injured Beau Bennett). Nicklas Backstrom also had a three-point night.

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The Penguins’ Three Stars of the Game Are All Capitals


The Pittsburgh Penguins, who are kind of terrible right now, fired their head coach Mike Johnston on Saturday in an attempt to turn around a miserable start to the season.

Would things be different for the Pens’ former AHL coach Mike Sullivan?

Above are the Penguins’ three stars of the night.

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Hey Pat, Oshie Scored Twice: Caps beat Pens 4-1


Oh, look. Holtby’s mask came off during play again. This is fine. I am fine.

I’ll get to the Penguins-Capitals game, and the debut of Mike Sullivan, and Oshie’s big performance and everything, but first: it happened again. Braden Holtby’s mask came off again. I’m not making too big a deal about this. This is literally a disaster in the making and no one is freaking out enough in my judgment.

But let’s talk about the scoring first.

Nick Backstrom scored early on, snatching a pass from Oshie to beat Marc-Andre Fleury up the gut. Three minutes later, John Carlson took his own rebound and turned it into a two-goal lead, which the Penguins began eroding with Evgeni Malkin’s tip-in through traffic. TJ Oshie put the Pens back in the two-goal hole where they belong with a dandy wraparound in the third period. The Penguins got busted late in the game for having cranky pants, so TJ Oshie got another goal. Woo!

Caps beat Pens 4-1. 21 wins and counting.

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: Coach Killer vs Coach Killers


No one cares about this anymore.

The Capitals are in Pittsburgh today to face the Penguins and their new coach, Mike Sullivan. Having recently fired the guy who literally wrote the book on hockey strategy but whose on-ice strategies grew increasingly inane, the Penguins could be primed for a bounce back.

It’s also possible that their problems run deeper than tactics. I hope Jim Rutherford isn’t looking into long-term real-estate investments in Shadyside.

Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN. Peter Hassett, who is me, will have your recap service.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 20-6-2 52.1% 101.4 23.3% 83.5%
Pittsburgh Penguins 15-10-3 48.3% 100.3 15.6% 84.2%

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The Streak is Over: Pens Beat Caps 3-1


Photo: Patrick McDermott

Ovechkin vs. Crosby. Reality vs. 2009 storylines. That’s right, Caps vs. Pens from Verizon Center.

The game got off to an interesting start for the Capitals, taking three penalties before the 10 minute mark of the first period. But Pittsburgh’s power play sucks, so the Caps were fine. Both goalies — Braden Holtby and Marc-Andre Fleury — were great and the game was scoreless after one.

The Caps dominated the second period, but the Flower remained excellent. The game started to get chippy, but no one put the biscuit into the basket. Onto the third!

Early in the period, NHL First Star of the Week, Evengy Kuznetsov deflected a puck home to give the Capitals the lead. Then the Caps did that whole let’s screw up every time we score thing and allowed Beau Bennett to convert a stretch pass to even the score just 24 seconds later. A few minutes later, Phil Kessel used a nice passing play to give Pittsburgh the lead. Despite a valiant Capitals effort, the Pens held it. Nick Bonino sealed the deal. Pens beat Caps 3-1.

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Caps vs Penguins Pregame: Viewer Beware

The Penguins come to town tonight. You already knew this, right? Or do you count on these game previews to inform you of the schedule? Please advise, reader.

Tonight’s game worries this writer. The Caps are shooting 12.4 percent at 5v5 this season, a number they won’t be able to sustain all season. The Penguins are shooting 4.9 percent at 5v5 this season, a number that is too low to be sustainable. So, will the PDO gods visit DC tonight to normalize things? Hopefully not. Hopefully, like Wilson Phillips, they can hold on for one more day. But if the percentages do normalize tonight, let the viewer beware.

Speaking of viewer beware, tonight’s game in on NBCSN at 8 PM.


Watch on CSN if you can. Sike. You can’t.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 6-1-0 55.1% 103.2 31.8% 83.3%
Pittsburgh Penguins 4-4-0 47.9% 98.7 7.1% 84.6%

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