That's game. The Capitals top the Penguins by a score of 3-0.0:43:
Mike Knuble floats the puck into an empty net, as the Pens had pulled Fleury with just over a minute remaining. Capitals 3, Penguins 01:29:
Pens back to full strength.2:29: Paul Martin
just saved a goal. The puck had snuck under Fleury and seemed doomed to go into the net, but Martin quickly scooped it up and shoved it back under Flower.3:42:
Backstrom and Ovechkin go after Cooke after the Pens forward lays a huge hit on Ovi. Cooke's getting a pair for tripping on the play. Pens on the PK.5:44:
The Pens collapse on the Caps net on an opportune scoring chance, but the puck squirts out of danger!7:35:
Caps back to full strength.9:47:
A tripping penalty is being called on Perreault. Pens on the PP!12:11:
Wallace is dropping the gloves with Steckel!!! The two players are both getting some punches in but aren't able to land any square blows, as they're keeping each other at arm length trying to get position. Nice job by the Pens' most recent callup trying to give his team some energy.12:14:
Fleury robs Knuble on a point-blank opportunity!13:49:
Chimera uses his speed to wheel down the ice after receiving a nice feed from Backstrom, but Letang (Cinco Ocho) puts enough pressure on him to break up the play. 16:11:
Loads of pressure by the Pens just now keeping the Caps hemmed in their own zone.18:30:
Outstanding defensive play by Engelland to break up a 2-on-1 opportunity before clearing out the puck.19:36:
Pens back to full strength.20:00:
Here we go! The Pens have 20 minutes to pull out a victory, while the Steelers kick off in about four hours!THIRD PERIOD
SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Orpik leads with three hits.
- Shots were even at 10 apiece that period.
- Michalek paces the Pens with 14:34 of ice time.0:00:
The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Caps hold a 2-0 lead and have an 18-15 advantage in shots.1:36:
The Pens will end the period on the PK. Talbot is heading to the box for slashing.2:09:
Both teams are pressuring hard. Lots of cycling and moving the puck around the net, but not a lot of actually getting to
the net. 5:58:
A trailing Conner gets a good chance on a rebound opportunity, but Neuvirth comes up big.8:32:
Pens back to full strength.9:05:
Talbot just got some open ice, but his stick fails him as it snaps in two as he tries to take a shot. 10:00:
Fleury just STONES Laich with his left pad as the Caps forward is all alone on the doorstep.10:30:
Rupp's getting a pair for cross checking. Pens back on the PK.11:11:
Fleury just withstood an absolute barrage by the Caps. Flower is playing outstanding right now. 12:27:
Pens back to full strength.13:39:
Great defensive play by Staal. He intercepted an Ovechkin pass while in the slot, then was able to recover and clear it out.14:08:
Unbelievable save by Fleury on Knuble.14:45:
Tangradi's going to the box for hooking. Pens now on the PK.16:02:
The Caps score shorthanded with five seconds left on the penalty to Hendricks. The puck takes a funny bounce on Letang as he tries to keep it in on the point, and the Caps capitalize. Marcus Johansson unleashes a beautiful backhander at Fleury that goes into the back of the net. Capitals 2, Penguins 0 17:57:
Hendricks topples onto Fleury as Knuble shoots the puck into the net. There's going to be no goal on the play and Hendricks is going to the box for goalie interference. Pens on the PP!18:26:
The Rupp-Conner-Talbot line just got a nice scoring chance. Pens have come out hard this period. Also, Green has not returned to the Caps bench.19:11:
Letang sneaks into the slot but chooses to dish the puck to Cooke, whose blast is swiftly gloved by Neuvirth.20:00:
Here we go!!!SECOND PERIOD
FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- The recently recalled Tim Wallace
has played 3:45 so far in his season debut.
- Engelland has two of the Pens' five shots.
- Letang leads with 7:42 of ice time.0:00:
The period ends on a solemn note, as Orpik's blast from the point catches Mike Green on the side of his helmet and he goes down. There's blood on the ice but he's able to skate off of his own accord. Caps take a 1-0 lead and an 8-5 advantage in shots into intermission.1:38:
Erskine's shot from the point is initially saved by Fleury, but Brooks Laich is able to gobble up the rebound and skirt around Flower to stuff it in the net. Capitals 1, Penguins 0 2:09:
Orpik crushes Matt Hendricks in the corner after a Caps shot. Letang had joined the previous Pens rush and received a nice drop pass from Cooke that he blasted at Neuvirth, who made the save.3:58:
Talbot gets some space in front of the Caps net, but can't get a shot off.5:16:
John Erskine's shot is deflected and bounces high over Fleury! The Caps have been coming on hard these last few minutes... 6:49:
Now Backstrom wheels down the left side of the ice and blasts a shot at Fleury, who gets a pad on it.7:20:
Now Steckel with a blast from the hash marks that Fleury is able to get a stick on.7:50:
David Steckel re-directs a puck while posted in the slot, but luckily it bounces out of danger.9:39:
It's been a fast-paced game, but each team only has four shots on goal. Good defense being played by both squads. 11:00:
The left-handed Cooke sprints down the right side of the ice and whips the puck at Neuvirth, who makes the save.12:29:
Martin with some outstanding stickhandling moves off the wall in the Caps zone! He kept dangling with three red jerseys all over him. But Washington is eventually able to clear.13:10:
Engelland carries down, fakes a shot then releases a shot that is tipped by a Penguin but skitters across the crease!14:34:
Tim Wallace, who was recalled yesterday from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, was just on the ice with Craig Adams
and Eric Tangradi
Ovechkin wheels down and rips a shot at Fleury. A small scrum ensues after the play, with the normally calm and collected Paul Martin
is mixing it up a bit with Jason Chimera! A little feistiness from No. 7. 18:43:
Phew. This game is already exciting. Mathieu Perreault just got a scoring opportunity stymied by some nice backchecking by Tyler Kennedy
Jeffrey whips an odd-angle shot at Neuvirth that the Caps goalie quickly gobbles up.20:00:
Here we go!!!FIRST PERIOD
12:33 PM: Ben Lovejoy
and Eric Godard are the Pens' scratches. That means Deryk Engelland
is in on defense. Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the nod between the pipes. Michal Neuvirth is in goal for the Caps.
The Pens are starting with Kunitz, Jeffrey and Dupuis up top, with Orpik and Letang on defense.12:22 PM:
Some interesting Super Bowl-related notes...
This is the second year in a row the Pens and the Caps have met on Super Bowl Sunday at the Verizon Center. Last year on Feb. 7, the Caps emerged victorious in overtime by a score of 5-4 thanks to an Alex Ovechkin hat trick. Jordan Staal
scored a pair of goals in that game.
The Pens and the Steelers have played on the same day once this season – Dec. 23. The Pens topped the Caps, 3-2 in overtime, at the Verizon Center, while the Steelers crushed Carolina, 27-3, at Heinz Field. Good omen!
Finally, this is the third time since Mike Tomlin took over as Steelers head coach in 2007 that the Pens have played a regular-season game on the same day the Steelers have had a playoff game. The Pens won both of those previous games while the Steelers are 1-1.12:04 PM:
What a day for Pittsburgh sports fans. First the Penguins and the Capitals face off for the first time since the Winter Classic in NBC's 'Game of the Week,' then, of course, there's some big football game going on tonight...
Sam Kasan covered most of the songs and videos that get one's Black and Gold pride at optimal level in this morning's Penguins Report
. I've got one last one to throw in before puck drop – HERE WE GO!