The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins did rivalry night battle for just the second time this season on Thursday night. A pretty important two points were on the line as the Eastern Conference playoff picture is very tight around the Wild Card spots.
Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring with a casual one-time power play strike from his office. Danton Heinen slammed home a rebound to tie the game at one. Marcus Johansson absolutely ripped a wrister over Casey DeSmith’s glove to give the Caps their lead back. Bryan Rust equalized with around seven minutes left in the third.
The Pens survived an overtime Capitals power play so here are your shootout bullets:
- Oshie did not put the cookie in the basket
- Rakell put the cookie in the basket
- Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket (in very slow motion)
- Crosby did not put the biscuit in the basket
- Backstrom put the cookie in the basket
- Malkin did not put the biscuit in the basket
Caps win 3-2 in a shootout!
- Pretty great first period from the Caps. They started strong, scored first, weathered a bit of a Pens storm, and then finished very strong as well. The only bad part was they were only able to dent the twine once past Casey DeSmith. The Caps registering a ton of chances against the Pens and not finishing enough of them? Never.
- Alex Ovechkin was the only one that did finish his dinner in the first. The Great Eight struck for his 812th career goal on Wayne Gretzky’s 62nd birthday.
- In what is probably the coolest appearance at Capital One Arena in a long time – Alexander Semin was in attendance for this game. I freakin’ loved Sasha Minor on those Young Guns teams. What an absolutely terrific player to watch when he was feeling it. Perhaps the best wrist shot in the history of hockey.
the comedic timing on this one 👌#ALLCAPS | @CaesarsSports pic.twitter.com/kMBLRFTCvC
—Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 26, 2023
- The Caps had more chances to score in the second goal failed on all of those. They also let the Pens right back into the game at five-on-five after a great first. Pittsburgh ended up with 18 shots in the frame which is not something you want to see.
- Even though I thought the Pens got back into the conversation in the second, the Caps still led in high-danger chances 17 to 6 after forty minutes. The third game in recent days where they play well but just cannot score. At some point, it’s not getting goalie’d and it’s more just having only one elite finishing talent on the team.
- Casey DeSmith was still annoyingly excellent though. Their backup, of course.
- What are our thoughts on the Stadium Series unis after some time to think about them and check them out a little closer? Nothing is touching that Reverse Retro though. Nothing.
This tiny robot can melt, escape from a prison by sliding through secure bars, and then reform into a solid and complete tasks. https://t.co/V3oRGFxNXz pic.twitter.com/gdpjFGd5u0
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 26, 2023
- This game going to overtime and beyond is not great for the Caps. Really needed this one to just be a two-point victory night but you’ll obviously take this over a loss.
- Darcy Kuemper has got to find the save on Rust’s goal. That’s just brutal all around, man.
- Peter tweeted this but you should see it here too. Marcus Johansson is on pace for 21 goals after scoring his 13th marker of the season. His career-best is 24 from the 2016-17 campaign. He is now alone in second on the team in goals.
Rivalry night in DC! #joebsuitofthenight pic.twitter.com/A1VZ1UNeCd
— RMNB (@rmnb) January 26, 2023
The Capitals do not play at home again until February 12. They’ll make the trip to Toronto and Columbus at the beginning of next week and then it will be time for the All-Star break.
Headline photo courtesy of @AndrewVouvalis/Twitter