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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Pick & Prediction FEB 25TH 2021

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Recap FEB 25TH 2021

T.J. Oshie scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period Sunday as the Washington Capitals topped the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 in a battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Oshie's goal came at 10:40 off a short-range rebound. Carl Hagelin added an empty-netter, his second goal of the game.

The Capitals, who snapped a four-game losing streak, moved two points ahead of Pittsburgh, which has a game in hand.

Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington. Braden Holtby made 33 saves.

Patric Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh, which lost its third straight. Matt Murray made 18 saves.

Vrana opened the scoring at 6:12 of the first period. From a faceoff in the far end, he got the puck and raced past everyone. Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson made a late attempt to sweep the puck away from behind and fell in the process. Murray stopped Vrana's shot, but Pettersson's momentum carried him and the puck over the line.

Hornqvist tied it at 14:47 of the second period. A shot from the left point by Kris Letang went off defenseman Radko Gudas in front, and Hornqivst batted in the puck.

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead 26 seconds later. He took a pass from Jason Zucker while driving to the net. He was upended by Oshie but got off a shot while in the air. Oshie's momentum carried him and the puck into Holtby and over the goal line.

Wilson tied it at 1:16 of the third period during four-on-four play. Pettersson turned over the puck to Nicklas Backstrom, who set up Wilson for a breakaway. Wilson slipped the puck past Murray's right skate.

At 4:41 of the third period, Hagelin gave Washington a 3-2 lead on a rebound in a crowded crease. John Carlson's assist gave him 475 career points, a franchise record for a defenseman.

Malkin's highlight-reel goal tied it again. He moved down the left side, slipped the puck between Carlson's skates and flipped it past Holtby at 8:50 of the third.

--Field Level Media

The Pittsburgh Penguins have found success against the Washington Capitals early this season, winning four of the first five meetings. Pittsburgh will try to add to that when it comes to Washington on Thursday night for another matchup.

The last victory came on Tuesday came when the Penguins used a Kasperi Kapanen goal just 1:43 into overtime for a 3-2 victory over Washington. The speed that Pittsburgh employs on a regular basis bothered the Capitals on many occasions, a big reason the Penguins out-shot them 37-22.

"I thought we were playing the game hard," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "We were trying to play the right way. It wasn't perfect by any stretch, but there aren't too many games that are. But I thought from top to bottom we were playing hard."

The Penguins also got goals from Jake Guentzel (plus an assist) along with Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh has won three straight games and five of their last six overall.

Also, the status of forward Jason Zucker was unknown as of mid-Wednesday as he was being evaluated for a lower-body injury suffered midway through the third period. Pittsburgh also announced Wednesday that it claimed defenseman Mark Friedman from the Flyers off waivers.

The Penguins expected Friedman to join them for Thursday's game with Washington.

Sidney Crosby played in career game No. 1,001 but did not score a point in Tuesday's win.

These two teams have built up a rivalry over the years, and dropping a game to the Penguins -- even though Washington picked up a point since the game went into overtime -- did not make the Caps happy.

"We don't like losing to those guys," Washington forward Tom Wilson said. "These are big points, big games, and I think if we put a little more emphasis into the full 60-minute game, maybe we can get an upper hand and get a goal lead or something like that.

Rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek came back to the ice after getting a break in the Capitals' last game. He returned and played well, making 34 saves and once again keeping Washington in the game.

For the Capitals, Richard Panik and Conor Sheary -- formerly a Penguin -- scored the goals.

Washington got some good news off the ice regarding its goalie situation.

Henrik Lundqvist returned to the ice Tuesday for the first time since having open-heart surgery back in early January.

The Washington goalie posted videos on his Instagram and Twitter accounts of him facing shots and working on movement at a rink in New Jersey. There was no comment afterward regarding whether or not he'd be able to return to the ice this season.

The surgery, according to earlier announcements, was for an "aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement."

The Washington Post said that coach Peter Laviolette mentioned that goalie Ilya Samsonov, penciled in as the starter before the season began, might get the start for the AHL's Hershey Bears on Wednesday. He's not been in an NHL contest since Jan. 17 after his COVID-19 test came up positive two days later.

As of now, Samsonov remains on the Capitals' taxi squad.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • @NY Islanders L 0 - 2
  • @NY Islanders W 4 - 3
  • @Washington L 2 - 5
  • @Washington W 3 - 2
  • NY Islanders W 2 - 3
  • NY Islanders W 1 - 4
  • Washington L 3 - 1
  • Washington W 3 - 6
  • @NY Islanders W 4 - 3
  • @NY Islanders L 3 - 4
W 67% L 33%
6 3
  • @New Jersey W 3 - 2
  • @New Jersey W 5 - 2
  • Pittsburgh W 2 - 5
  • Pittsburgh L 3 - 2
  • New Jersey W 3 - 4
  • NY Rangers L 4 - 1
  • Buffalo W 1 - 3
  • @Pittsburgh W 3 - 1
  • @Pittsburgh L 3 - 6
  • @Buffalo D 0 - 0

Next Games

  • Philadelphia(01-31-20) W 3 - 4
  • Philadelphia(01-31-20) W 3 - 4
  • Philadelphia(01-31-20) W 3 - 4
  • NY Rangers(01-24-21) W 2 - 3
  • NY Rangers(01-24-21) W 2 - 3
  • @Boston(12-23-19) L 3 - 7
  • @Boston(12-23-19) L 3 - 7
  • @Philadelphia(08-06-20) L 1 - 3
  • New Jersey(02-21-21) W 3 - 4

Last Meetings

  • Penguins @ Capitals 2-5
  • Penguins @ Capitals 3-2
  • Capitals @ Penguins 3-1
  • Capitals @ Penguins 3-6
  • Capitals @ Penguins 4-5
  • Capitals @ Penguins 3-4
  • Capitals @ Penguins 5-2
  • Penguins @ Capitals 3-5
  • Penguins @ Capitals 4-3
  • Capitals @ Penguins 3-5

Eastern Conference

AtlanticWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Toronto Maple Leafs164234 9-0-37-0-17855L17-0-2
Tampa Bay Lightning144129 9-0-15-0-36939L27-0-3
Florida Panthers134228 7-0-36-0-16760L25-0-3
Boston Bruins125226 5-0-17-0-45950L26-0-4
Montreal Canadiens96321 3-0-56-0-16560L52-0-5
Ottawa Senators815117 5-0-63-0-96692L16-0-4
Detroit Red Wings714317 4-0-63-0-85178L14-0-5
Buffalo Sabres610214 2-0-74-0-34457L32-0-7

Western Conference

CentralWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Winnipeg Jets137026 8-0-45-0-36957L16-0-4
Minnesota Wild126024 5-0-37-0-35744L27-0-3
Chicago Blackhawks127226 6-0-36-0-47368L17-0-3
Colorado Avalanche116123 5-0-36-0-35542L26-0-3
St. Louis Blues118022 4-0-67-0-26767L34-0-5
Nashville Predators1011020 7-0-43-0-74964L15-0-5
Dallas Stars66214 4-0-12-0-54645L22-0-5

Eastern Conference

MetropolitanWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Carolina Hurricanes146129 6-0-18-0-57258L36-0-3
Washington Capitals125226 7-0-35-0-27369L16-0-3
Philadelphia Flyers114123 6-0-25-0-26154L26-0-2
New York Islanders116325 7-0-04-0-65649L16-0-2
Pittsburgh Penguins118123 7-0-14-0-76065L16-0-4
Columbus Blue Jackets810319 5-0-43-0-66277L53-0-5
New Jersey Devils78014 2-0-65-0-24552L24-0-5
New York Rangers79216 4-0-63-0-35052L14-0-5

Western Conference

PacificWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Edmonton Oilers149028 6-0-68-0-37969L18-0-2
Vegas Golden Knights124024 8-0-24-0-25136L27-0-3
Calgary Flames1011222 4-0-46-0-75970L13-0-6
Los Angeles Kings97321 3-0-26-0-56056L26-0-2
Arizona Coyotes99119 6-0-63-0-35664L24-0-4
Vancouver Canucks914220 5-0-64-0-87285L43-0-5
San Jose Sharks79115 1-0-36-0-65371L24-0-4
Anaheim Ducks610315 3-0-53-0-54261L62-0-5

Last Injuries

Washington Capitals

  • Evgeny Kuznetsov

    Upper Body
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Kuznetsov has missed the last two games tending to a lower-body injury, and it is unknown if he will be in the lineup Wednesday versus the Bruins.

  • Alex Ovechkin

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Ovechkin is dealing with an undisclosed issue, and it is unknown if he will be active for Saturday's match versus the Devil's.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Mark Jankowski

    Upper Body
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Jankowski missed the previous game due to an upper-body injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up versus the Flyers on Tuesday.

  • Jason Zucker

    Undisclosed
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Zucker has been assigned to the injured reserve list with a lower-body injury, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Kris Letang

    Undisclosed
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Letang was forced from the last game with an unspecified ailment, and it is unclear if he will be available for Thursday's tilt with the Capitals.

  • Marcus Pettersson

    Upper Body
    Prob Tues | probable

    Pettersson has been activated from the injured reserve list after recovering from an upper-body injury, and he is projected to return Tuesday versus the Capitals.