For Crosby, it was his sixth goal in eight postseason games this spring, well ahead of the Pittsburgh star's six goals in 20 games during the Penguins' run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Crosby's goal was the only score of a high-flying, entertaining first period.
Crosby's rival and star opposite, Alex Ovechkin, totaled five shots on goal in the period, including a pair of early saves by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury that is sure to draw raves from teammates after the game. Ovie also lost his helmet with 14 seconds left when tussling with both defenseman Gonchar and Pens winger Chris Kunitz.
Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov, who is playing in his seventh career playoff game after only six NHL regular-season games, returned the favor of sorts by stopping Crosby on a close-in shot late in the period when the Penguins were working a 5-on-3 power play. After a leg save on Crosby, the rebound caromed out to Gonchar and Varlamov made a rising glove save.