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3 Impressions: Pens 2, Caps 1

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 2 at Verizon Center.

1. Sweet Revenge
Forward Eric Fehr got the best of his former team by netting the game-winning goal with just 4:28 remaining in the third period. The goal couldn’t have been more clutch considering the Pens’ defense was wearing down with fatigue and the Caps were pressing hard. Evgeni Malkin stole a puck from Alex Ovechkin in the offensive zone and made a beautiful, spinning pass to the slot, where Fehr tipped the shot into the top corner for a 2-1 lead. Fehr, who played nine of his first 10 NHL seasons with Washington, has scored many goals at the Verizon Center. But none bigger that this.

2. Special Teams
It’s a topic that gets brought up all too often, but honestly, not often enough. Special teams play was the difference in this game. The Pens had five power-play opportunities and came up empty. Because of that they weren’t able to pull away from the Cap and distance themselves. The Caps, who had managed 10 shots in the first two periods, were able to even the score with a man-advantage tally in the third. One-goal difference in either direction for the Pens, and they skate away with a comfortable win.

3. Gang of 5
The Pens lost defenseman Olli Maatta just four minutes into the game after Washington’s Brooks Orpik leveled him in the corner with a late hit after Maatta had already released the puck. Pittsburgh was forced to play the remaining 55 minutes of the game with only five defensemen. And it may have been arguably the team’s best defensive effort all season. They limited the Capitals to just five shots in the first period. If that wasn’t good enough, they again held Washington to just five shots in the second period.

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