According to Telecomasia.net, Washington finally put an end to a losing streak that has lasted four games in a row. Peter Laviolette's team managed to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the first victory for the capital club in the season.
In this crucial encounter at the Consol Energy Center, Washington defeated Pittsburgh 1-3. The Penguins lost on home ice for the first time in the league after five consecutive triumphs.
The main hero of the game was Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek. He managed to make 26 saves, providing his team with a solid defense. After the match, Vanecek told reporters that during the game he just tried to focus on the game and give his all for the good of the team, because it is more fun to win than to lose.
In the first period, the opponents fired 28 shots at each other (15-13 in favor of Pittsburgh), but the scoreboard remained 0-0. The Penguins were unable to convert any of their two power play chances into goals.
In the second period, the home team had a lot of problems with discipline. The referee recorded four penalties on their part. Washington also failed to convert their chances in goals once but gained a confident advantage (18-5) in shots. In the 24th minute, Conor Sheary scored against his former team, and seven minutes later Jakub Vrana made the scoreboard 0-2, nearly copying the exact shot of his teammate.
Right before the goal, the Penguins went on a two-on-one counterattack, but Alexander Ovechkin intercepted a pass on the shot while falling. Forward T.J. Oshie said in a postgame interview that the moment was the key moment in the game. Had it not been for the capital club captain, Pittsburgh would have scored. This missed puck could have greatly demoralized a team that was already not in the best of spirits after four straight losses.
In the third period, Washington continued to increase their lead. Early in the final 20 minutes, Lars Eller put the score at 0-3 after a great pass from Richard Panik. Vanecek was less than five minutes short of the shootout. Zach Aston-Reese scored Pittsburgh's consolation goal. The match ended 1-3, which was a perfect reflection of the situation on the field as Washington dominated and aggressively attacked. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry made 39 saves in the game, trying to save his team from defeat.
After a tight game, Capitals coach Peter Laviolette praised his players' level of commitment. According to him, everyone was involved in the game. Every hockey player was 100% motivated. Also, the team committed a minimum of penalties, and Vitek in the third period perfectly defended the goal under the pressure of the opponent. According to Laviolette, the game was pretty strong for Washington. And one couldn't agree more.
According to the official website of the NHL, after this game, Washington is fourth in its division standings with 17 points. Pittsburgh is in fifth place with a two-point gap. And the leader of the Eastern Division is Boston with 22 points.
On Thursday, Washington will visit Buffalo, and Pittsburgh will face the NY Islanders away from home. Both matches will take place at 19:00 (EDT).