The rivalry is back. After two games in which the Washington Capitals obliterated the Pittsburgh Penguins, we actually had a contest this time. The Caps and Pens were perfectly matched for forty minutes. Then they went bananas on each other.
Alex Ovechkin opened us up with a thrilling breakaway goal after a bad Pittsburgh line change. Things were looking great for the visitors until Steve Downie of all freaking people crashed the net to end Braden Holtby’s shutout streak over Pittsburgh after 143 minutes.
The third period went to hell as Ovechkin slashed Letang and the refs forgot how to do their jobs, but no one scored until the Penguins lost control. During five-on-three, Nick Backstrom sent a great pass to Joel Ward, eagerly waiting on the weak side. John Carlson sealed the deal with an empty-netter from like 170 feet away. Oh yes.
Caps beat Pens 3-1!
Wild game. I know I said I like the 6-4 games, but this one was some riveting hockey for having such a low score. Until the refs abnegated their responsibility in the third period, this was a tense, even game between two teams that really cared.
I’d love to see this matchup in mid-April. I was feeling that level of nervousness, and it’s freaking February. I need to decompress. I need a hug and a milkshake and would someone please grill me a cheese?
Very successful road trip. The Caps now return home to regroup against the Winnipeg Jets, who are awful. I’ll be traveling, so I won’t be recapping that one or Saturday’s game against the Islanders, which will be my first game at Verizon Center since Dale Hunter. Woo!
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