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game recap

Letang powers Penguins past Capitals in OT

Defenseman wins it with second goal of game at 1:20; Oshie scores twice in third to tie it for Washington

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Letang scored 1:20 into overtime after the Pittsburgh Penguins blew a two-goal lead in the third period of their season opener, a 7-6 win against the Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

After Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking 19 seconds into overtime, Letang scored on the power play for his second goal of the game. His first goal tied it 3-3 30 seconds into the second period.

Letang tied Paul Coffey for the most points by a defenseman in Penguins history with the overtime goal (440).

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Penguins highlights]

 

"It's always fun to get on the board, especially that way [in overtime]," Letang said. "I didn't know [I tied Coffey], but it's pretty cool. He's always a guy that I was looking up to. I had the chance to have a bunch of exchanges throughout my career with him. So it's fun to be next to him.

"It was a cool moment, obviously with the disappointment last season. It's good to start that way."

Video: Pens, Jackets and Hawks notch EA NHL 19 OT winners

With the Capitals trailing 6-4, T.J. Oshie scored two goals 21 seconds apart to tie it with 6:38 remaining in the third period. He shot over goalie Matt Murray's glove for his first goal at 13:01 to make it 6-5 before he deflected a shot from John Carlson through Murray's five-hole to tie it 6-6 at 13:22.

Oshie said the game was somewhat reminiscent of the Capitals' 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins on Jan. 16, 2017.

"I think both these teams have so much firepower throughout the whole lineup on each side," Oshie said. "So when you get a little bit of a sloppy game, some guys making some misreads defensively and some guys turning the puck over at the wrong times, each team is going to make you pay."

Murray made 30 saves for Pittsburgh, which had 16 giveaways.

"As I said to our guys, part of the fabric of our team identity has to be becoming a team that's hard to play against and becoming a team that doesn't defeat itself," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "One of the easiest ways to become easy to play against, or one of the easiest ways to beat yourself, is to mismanage the puck."

Video: WSH@PIT: Malkin one-times goal on Letang's dish

Braden Holtby made 34 saves for Washington, which defeated the Boston Bruins 7-0 on Wednesday after raising its Stanley Cup championship banner. He made the save on all 25 shots he faced against Boston.

"It's a tough one [for Holtby]. It's a tough one, for sure," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "They got lots of good chances. He was solid. First back-to-back for him in a few years, actually. So it challenged him in that respect."

Jamie Oleksiak beat Holtby over his glove to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 1:49 of the first period after Evgeni Malkin left the puck at the top the left face-off circle for him.

Jakub Vrana tied it 1-1 at 3:30 of the first before Brooks Orpik put the Capitals ahead 2-1 at 4:18.

After Matt Niskanen was called for interference at 5:47, Jake Guentzel scored on the power play to tie it 2-2 at 7:27 of the first.

Alex Ovechkin gave Washington a 3-2 lead at 8:00 of the first. It was the 609th goal of his NHL career, passing Dino Ciccarelli for 18th all time. He is one behind Bobby Hull for 17th.

Video: WSH@PIT: Ovechkin redirects Djoos' pass by Murray

After Letang tied it, Carlson put the Capitals back on top 4-3 with a snap shot past Murray's glove at 3:54.

Guentzel scored again by deflecting a shot from Justin Schultz through Holtby's five-hole to tie it 4-4 at 15:09. Derick Brassard gave the Penguins a 5-4 lead with a backhand shot at 16:58 before Malkin scored with a wrist shot from one knee to make it 6-4 at 2:45 of the third.

 

They said it

"I think it's one of those games where it's probably entertaining to watch, but as a player, you don't really feel like you have much control of the outcome. So it's kind of a 50-50 game. It's never a good recipe for long-term success." -- Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik

 

"It was a good game to learn from, especially with that team. We'll continue to get better." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

Need to know

Oshie's second goal initially was waved off because of a high stick. After the officials huddled, the ruling changed to a good goal after it was determined Oshie's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he deflected the puck, and that was confirmed by video review. ... Orpik's goal ended a drought of 182 regular-season games dating to Feb. 26, 2016. ... Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin played with Letang on the top pair after he was a game-time decision. He returned to practice Wednesday after sustaining an upper-body injury in Pittsburgh's final preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sept. 28.

 

What's next

Capitals: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Penguins: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CITY, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: Letang's OT goal lifts Pens in wild affair with Caps

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