Mark Recchi’s four-point Saturday night propelled the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
In addition, Sergei Gonchar added a goal and three assists as the Penguins closed out their pre-Olympic schedule with a two-game winning streak. The Penguins won’t play again until March 1 as the NHL stops play so its players may compete for their countries in Torino, Italy.
Pittsburgh's Tomas Surovy (Slovakia) and Gonchar (Russia) will compete in the Olympics as will Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin (Russia), who was the 2004 second-overall pick.
Sidney Crosby maintained the lead in his head-to-head rookie battle with Washington's Alexander Ovechkin. The Penguins have won all three meetings and Crosby has outscored Ovechkin, 8-3. Ovechkin leads Crosby in the overall rookie scoring race, 69-65.
Crosby tallied a power-play goal with 1:35 left in the first period. John LeClair’s shot deflected off the near post. Crosby, who was situated near the post, slammed in the loose puck for a 1-0 lead. Recchi earned the other assist.
LeClair gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead 1:11 into the second period. LeClair stripped the puck off a Washington defender and broke in alone on goal. He deked once and wristed a shot past Olaf Kolzig.
Gonchar one-timed a shot past Kolzig just 3:27 later. Recchi’s shot on goal deflected to Colby Armstrong, who circled behind the Washington goal. He fired a pass to Gonchar, who ripped it into the cage for a 3-0 lead.
Armstrong tallied with 11:39 left in the period on a power-play goal. Armstrong picked up a rebound in front and roofed the puck into the net. Recchi and Gonchar earned assists.
Recchi snapped a puck past Kolzig with 5:44 left in the period for a power-play goal. Crosby and Gonchar both had assists.
Matt Pettinger got the Capitals on the scoreboard with 13:08 left when he slammed in a rebound off Marc-Andre Fleury.
Eric Boguniecki scored on a two-man advantage to give the Penguins a 6-1 lead with 10:37 to play. Gonchar and LeClair had the assists.
Alexander Ovechkin scored a short-handed goal with 9:53 to go when he one-timed a shot past Fleury to trim the deficit to 6-2.
Brian Sutherby scored with 30 seconds left to make it 6-3.
ICE CHIPS: Cory Cross, Shane Endicott and Michel Ouellet were the Penguins’ scratches.