Capitals send rival Penguins to sixth consecutive loss
The Capitals can't beat the Penguins in the playoffs, but for a night, they have knocked them from the playoff picture.
Goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 shots, and the Capitals held off the Penguins, 1-0, at Verizon Center on Wednesday. The Penguins find themselves ninth in the Eastern Conference after losing their sixth straight game — the team's longest losing streak under coach Dan Bylsma.
Funny thing is, the Penguins were pretty pleased with their effort.
"That's how we've got to keep playing," Dan Bylsma said. "Let's play another 40 like that."
Bylsma used the term "hard-fought" four times during his postgame address, and indeed, the Penguins did play hard. They controlled play for most of the night, outshot Washington, 30-21, and did so without the benefit of a power-play opportunity.
"The effort was there from everybody tonight," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "The effort was probably maxed out by all 20 guys. It just seems like if you make one mistake, it's in your net right now. When you're on a winning streak, it goes the other way."
The Penguins are most certainly not on a winning streak, and are trying to win games with grit more than skill.
Unfortunately, the guy with the most skill on the ice made the mistake that lost the game.
Center Evgeni Malkin, at times guilty of attempting to beat the opposition on his own, committed a turnover at the blue line in the first period. This has been a trend of late, and this time, it badly burned the Penguins.
Joel Ward took advantage of the turnover, directing a puck toward Penguins' territory. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek bolted for the puck but by doing so, abandoned goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Center Jeff Halpern beat Michalek to the puck and found left wing Jason Chimera, who cleanly beat Fleury on a breakaway.
It was the only goal required to beat the Penguins' lifeless offense. They have scored six goals during the six-game skid that has removed them from playoff contention.
"Things aren't going to come easily for us right now," Penguins right wing Craig Adams said. "It's the way it is. No one's going to feel sorry for us."
The Capitals were given two power plays, the Penguins none. And they weren't real thrilled about it.
"Especially when you have that much zone time," Orpik said. "It's amazing. It's something we talk about. It's gone back to the old rules. For a few years, it was no tolerance. Now our forwards get a step on them — they get pressed up against the glass and a stick on them — and it's never called. It's so frustrating. But we've just got to battle through it."
The Penguins were pleased with the job they did against Washington star Alex Ovechkin, who was held to four shots and no points.
They were pleased with everything but the final score, something that wasn't the case 24 hours ago following a 5-1 loss against Ottawa.
"We need to keep playing the way we did tonight," Adams said.
The Penguins return to action Friday in Florida.
Note: Forward Pascal Dupuis' ankle is OK following a nasty crash into the boards during the second period. ... Defenseman Paul Martin said he remains ill but was well enough to play against Washington.
Capitals, 1-0 (15:25): C Evgeni Malkin's turnover at the Washington blue forced D Zbynek Michalek, the last line of defense, to pursue a loose puck by the boards. C Jeff Halpern got there first and found LW Jason Chimera for a breakaway. He beat G Marc-Andre Fleury cleanly with a high shot to the stick side.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM Rutherford: Malkin’s play belies fact he missed training camp
- Penguins notebook: After slow start, penalty kill on upswing
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Penguins veteran defenseman Scuderi’s game looking up
- Penguins’ defenseman Maatta confident of full recovery
- Starkey: Hockey hypocrites, unite
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Penguins notebook: Jagr still an impact player in 23rd season
- Maatta had been back in groove after offseason surgery
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins