Washington-1, Pittsburgh-2 (FINAL)
The Penguins win their 10th straight game tonight and become the first team in NHL history to win 10 games in a row in three consecutive seasons. The turning point in this game took place in the 3rd period when the Caps could not capitalize on a four minute power play and then immediately gave up the go-ahead goal. That was a true back breaker.
The Caps played much better than they did in the first two games against the Penguins but it was still not enough. Getting Brooks Laich and Dmitry Orlov back certainly helped but the Caps fading playoff chances took a major hit tonight.
For the Penguins, winning their 10th straight game, against a key rival, without having Evgeni Malkin or Chris Letang in the lineup is huge. The machine that is Pittsburgh just keeps rolling along and even on a night when they were not their sharpest, the Pens are still more than a match for a struggling team like the Capitals.
The Caps are off until Thursday when they play the first of two absolutely must win games in a row against the Winnipeg Jets. The Caps are now 12-16-1 and trail the Jets by eight points for the division lead. If the Caps are to have any chance, they must sweep the Jets in Winnipeg.
The Penguins meanwhile are now 23-8-0 and in first place overall in the Eastern Conference. They next play the New York Islanders on Friday as they look for their 11th win in a row.
Here are some final stats from the Pens 2-1 win over the Caps tonight:
Goals: Capitals-1, Penguins-2
Shots: Capitals- 29, Penguins-36
Hits: Capitals-18, Penguins-30
Faceoff Wins: Capitals- 31, Penguins-30
Blocks: Capitals-13, Penguins- 24
Thanks to everyone who followed along tonight and I hope to do this again with all of you very soon.