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Instant analysis: Penguins at Capitals, Game 2

Fehr scores late, Pittsburgh controls pace to even series with Washington

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Saturday at Verizon Center. The Penguins evened the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

Carl Hagelin scored 7:08 into the second period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. The Capitals pulled even at 1-1 with a power-play goal from Marcus Johansson 4:08 into the third period.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr scored on a redirection with 4:28 remaining to put the Penguins ahead for good.

What we learned: The Penguins controlled the pace again with their speed transition game. Their inability to cash in on numerous scoring chances in outshooting the Capitals 28-10 over the first two periods almost came back to haunt them. The line of Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino and Hagelin has been the Penguins' best in the series. Bonino set up Hagelin's goal from behind the net after winning a battle for the puck with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik in the left corner.

The Capitals kept it close, with Braden Holtby's goaltending and their continued superb penalty kill, which was 5-for-5 for the game and is 30-for-31 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their power play came through with Johansson knocking in the rebound of defenseman John Carlson's point shot to tie the game.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm2: Johansson buries loose puck to tie it

What this means for the Penguins: Pittsburgh earned a split of the first two games in Washington with Fehr's late goal and heads back home for Games 3 and 4. Whether they'll have defenseman Olli Maatta after he was injured on a late hit from Orpik in the first period is unknown.

What this means for the Capitals: They can't be pleased about letting the Penguins again dictate the style of play for most of the game. Washington was able to pull out a 4-3 victory in overtime in Game 1, but wasn't as fortunate Saturday.

Key moment: The Capitals had all the momentum after Johansson's tying goal, but the Penguins hung tough and were rewarded on Fehr's goal. Fehr, who played parts of nine seasons in Washington before signing with the Penguins last summer as an unrestricted free agent, drove to the net to deflect a feed from Evgeni Malkin in over Holtby's left shoulder.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm2: Fehr deflects it past Holtby for lead

Unsung player of the game: After facing 10 shots in the first two periods, goaltender Matt Murray came up big when the Penguins needed him in the third. With the score tied 1-1, Murray slid to his left to make a left pad save on Andre Burakovsky with 6:37 remaining. That was one of 13 saves he made in the third period.

What's next: The series shifts to Consol Energy Center for Game 3 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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