The Penguins and Capitols are a well-known rivalry in the NHL. Both teams are constantly in the top three spots in the Metropolitan division, and it is always anyone's guess who will come out on top at the end of the game. So far this season the Penguins won their first match up on October 13th with a 3-2 score. Then the Capitols came back with a vengeance to demolish the Penguins 7-1 on November 16th. The third meeting of these two teams took place last Wednesday January 11th where the Penguins earned a decisive 5-2 victory. Tonight was their final match up of the regular season for 2016-17 and it was an exciting one! This was one of the highest scoring games of the season with a combined 15 goals by the end of the night! Six different Capitols players, and five different Penguins players scored tonight.
The Capitols scored two unanswered points in the first period as well as the first goal in the second giving them a three point lead early on. In the second period however the Penguins came back strong scoring an astonishing 6 points! Three of those six points were scored by Evgeni Malkin giving him his 11th career hat trick. The Capitols also put away three goals during the second period for a shocking combined 9 goals total scored in a single period of hockey! The Penguins were ahead 6-5 at the end of the second period.
The game remained exciting throughout the third period. First, the Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored his 27th goal of the season, earning his 50th point so far this season, bringing the Penguins to a 7-5 lead. Things were looking hopeful for a regulation win for Pittsburgh, however about half way through the period T.J. Oshie scored a power play goal to bring the Capitols back within 1 point. Four minutes later Lars Eller scored the last regulation goal of the game bringing the score to 7-7. Then just 34 seconds into overtime Conor Sheary scored the game winning goal giving the Penguins their 3rd win of the 4 contests against the Capitols this season at an amazing 8-7! This win for the Penguins snapped the Capitols 9 game winning streak. Other notable achievements for the Penguins tonight were Ian Cole playing in his 300th NHL game and Justin Schultz got his 100th career assist!
The players who scored the 7 goals for the Capitols tonight were: Burakovsky (1), Backstrom (1), Williams (1), Connolly (1), Eller (2), and Oshie (1). For the Penguins their 8 goals were scored by: Malkin (3), Sheary (2), Bonino (1), Rust (1), and Crosby (1). The rivalry may not end here for the season, the Penguins and Capitols could very possibly meet up again in the post season.