The Penguins are well on their way to winning the Metropolitan Division and while the Washington Capitals are 18 points back, it never hurts to create a little more separation. Chris Kunitz scored twice and Jeff Zatkoff made 31 saves as the Penguins were able to hold off the Capitals for the second straight win.
Kunitz wasted no time getting his 30th goal of the season, scoring just 46 seconds into the game. Sidney Crosby found Kunitz streaking down the left side in the neutral zone. The left winger turned on the jets and skated past Mike Green before beating Jaroslav Halak with a backhand shot.
The Capitals quickly responded when Jason Chimera connected with Eric Fehr on a timing play in front of the net less than three minutes later.
Sidney Crosby scored with the Penguins on the power play just 52 seconds later to put Pittsburgh back on top. Evgeni Malkin passed Crosby the puck from the point and the league leader in points blasted a one timer past Halak from the right wing circle.
Brooks Laich tied the game on Washington’s second power play of the second period. The Penguins did everything to protect the cross-ice pass to Ovechkin but, in doing so left the front of the net wide open. Nicklas Backstrom passed the puck in front and it was redirected by Laich through the five-hole of Jeff Zatkoff.
Kunitz scored again to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead 12:40 into the second period. Crosby dropped a pass back to Lee Stempniak who fired the puck towards the net. The puck it a stick in front and was kicked straight to Kunitz who buried it into a wide open cage.
Late in the third period, the Capitals went on the power play after the Penguins were called for too many men on the ice. With the goalie pulled, the Capitals had a 6 on 4 power play but couldn’t convert.
- Chris Kunitz
- Eric Fehr
- Sidney Crosby
Photo courtesy of NHL.com