CAPS 1, PENS 0
That'll do it. Vokoun gets the shutout win as Caps hold off the Pens' late surge to get the 1-0 victory. Chimera with the game's only goal.0:28:
Bylsma using his timeout as the Pens have an O-zone faceoff with just under half a minute left to play.1:19:
Pens pull Fleury for the extra attacker.2:07:
Malkin's line pushing so hard, but Vokoun doing his part against the Pens' top trio...cumulating with an acrobatic shoulder save on a Geno shot from the circle. Pens really pushing hard right now.4:13:
Can't remember the last time I was this nervous during a PK. Luckily the Pens thwart it and Dupuis is released.6:13:
After a huge effort by Geno to create a decent scoring chance, Dupuis takes a slashing penalty and sends the Pens to the PK. Huge kill here for Pittsburgh.8:25:
Hunter uses his timeout when his players ice the puck after a long shift.9:22:
The Ovechkin-Johansson-Semin line just had a ridiculous shift. They had about two wide-open nets but somehow failed to score.10:49:
After a strong shift by Jeffrey's line, the Caps counter quickly with Knuble teeing up a shot from the circles that Fleury kicks aside with his pad. Fleury really playing great for his teammates right now.13:43:
Caps really pushing hard this period...especially their third and fourth lines. They're getting lots of shots and way too many chances, putting the Pens back on their heels but luckily Fleury is up to the task so far.17:56:
Caps win an O-zone faceoff that has Semin trying to send a short pass across the slot to a wide-open Ovi on the back door, but Fleury alertly pokes his stick out and intercepts it! Ovi recovers and shoots the rebound, but Flower covers.20:00:
Puck drops to start the third. Pens down just one goal...#digdeep #letsdothis
- Now Orpik is up to a game-high 18:06 minutes
- This is a tight checking, hard hitting game. Caps have 31-25 edge in that category
- There was just one penalty called through 2 periods
First 40 minutes in the books. Pens still trail the Caps 1-0 after a scoreless second. Shots are 20-12 in favor of Pittsburgh.3:11:
Pens have limited the Caps to just three shots this period while firing 10 of their own. They're dominating on the cycle in the O-zone. If they keep playing this way, good things will happen.4:53:
Dupuis falls awkwardly into the boards while forechecking hard on Hamrlik and twists his ankle. He skates slowly to the bench but stays there. 9:21:
Ovi takes a Martin shot off the outside of his left skate and it looks painful. However, the Russian sniper stays in the game...12:22:
Solid kill for the Pens there, punctuated by a beautiful pad save by Fleury on Alex Semin from the slot!14:22:
Despite being pushed into Vokoun by Caps D-man Dennis Wideman, Tyler Kennedy
falls on the Caps goalie and he's going to go off for interfering with him. First penalty of the night. Pens to the PK.15:34:
Some impressive brute strength displayed just now by Eric Tangradi
, who muscled his way out of the corner through Carlson to get a crack at Vokoun!18:06:
The Caps seem to have a bit more jump in their step to start this period. They just easily gained the zone and capped off the effort with a blast from D-man Carlson that Fleury gets his left pad on.20:00:
Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
- Jeffrey skated 4:22 minutes in his first game since Nov. 3
- Orpik has recorded 5 hits through a team-high 8:55 of ice time
- Malkin leads with 3 shots
That'll do it for the first. Caps hold a 1-0 thanks to a Jason Chimera tally. Pens have a 9-6 advantage in shots.3:47:
Yikes!!! Fleury went to play a puck behind the net that took a bad bounce off the back boards to Semin at the side of the net. But somehow, some way, he can't corral it with a wide-open net!4:35:
Caps strike first off a Pens turnover in the offensive zone that left Michalek the lone man back on a 3-on-1 rush. Halpern dished over to the pass option, Chimera, who punched it past Fleury. Let's see how the Pens respond. CAPS 1, PENS 06:31:
Observation: just because Matt Cooke
has completely transformed his game, it doesn't mean he's no longer physical. Cookie is just abusing his body right now the way he's slamming players into the boards.9:30:
Malkin is absolutely fired up tonight! He just fired a good shot from the side of the net that Vokoun somehow turned aside!12:06:
Malkin dipsy doodles through the Caps defense with some fancy stickhandling and gets to the cage, but can't get a good shot off!14:18:
A strong individual effort by Brooks Laich results in a decent Caps scoring chance. He drives to the net and gets the puck just outside the post for Troy Brouwer to jab at, but Fleury basically does the splits to keep it out.17:41:
And we've got our first fight! After Adams checks Hendricks on the boards, the Caps forward challenges him and they go at it for a quick bout.18:28:
Pens displaying urgency right from the start. I'm liking it. They're playing quick and fast and haven't allowed Caps to gain the zone yet. Oh, and to top it off Orpik just had a perfect gap on Ovi at the blue line that allowed him to collect the puck and send it up the ice.20:00:
Puck drops to start the first...here we go! Game on!
Pens scratch Vitale, McDonald and MacIntyre. Official lines for tonight:
Fleury between the pipes.
Here are the projected Caps lines (based on warmups) from the Washington Post...
Tomas Vokoun makes his seventh straight start in goal for Washington.
Tonight marks the official beginning of the second half of the season for the Pens, which is fitting because the team could really, really
use a fresh start right now. It's time for them to turn the page on the five-game losing streak they're carrying into their 7:30 p.m. tilt with the Washington Capitals (who are just two points behind 8th-place Pittsburgh in the standings). The guys know that enough is enough. Both individually and as a whole, they're ready to dig deep and be better, starting tonight. One game at a time.
The Pens did not hold a morning skate today as they played last night against Ottawa, but they did make a few roster moves throughout the day. Forward Steve MacIntyre
was placed on waivers and defenseman Simon Despres
, injured against the Senators, was placed on IR with what head coach Dan Bylsma deemed a 'Grade 1 MCL.' Despres will be out 2-4 weeks.
The good news is that Dustin Jeffrey
will make his return to the lineup tonight (centering Pascal Dupuis
and Tyler Kennedy
) and...oh, yes...captain Sidney Crosby
will join the team in Washington tonight and will skate on his own during a two-game road trip in Florida.
Sam Kasan has the full story on Sid here
Watch Bylsma address the media below: