RECAP: Capitals snap losing streak, skate past Penguins

Feb 16, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) makes a save against Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The visiting Washington Capitals rode two second-period goals Tuesday as they broke a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lars Eller had a goal and assist, Conor Sheary and Jakub Vrana also scored, and Richard Panik added two assists for the Capitals.

Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek, in his 11th straight start, made 26 saves.

Zach Aston-Reese scored for Pittsburgh, which had won two in a row. Tristan Jarry stopped 39 of 42 shots.

The Capitals, during their losing streak, had allowed 22 goals. They had lost their first four games against Pittsburgh.

The Penguins dominated most of the scoreless first period, but Washington came on toward the end, and continued with momentum in the second.

Sheary, a former Penguins winger, gave Washington a 1-0 lead at 4:52 of the second. Nick Jensen was under pressure in the corner but got the puck out to Panik nearby, and Panik fed Sheary in the right circle for a shot that made it in off Jarry’s glove.

With that one-goal lead, Vanecek made a key pad save on Brandon Tanev, who was sprung for a shorthanded breakaway.

At 11:31 of the second, Vrana pushed it to 2-0 off the rush. He was moving down the right circle when T.J. Oshie threaded a backhanded pass to him through traffic from the far boards. Vrana lifted a shot to the short side.

The Capitals led in shots 33-18 through two periods.

Eller, on his seventh shot, made it 3-0 at 1:09 of the third. From near the bottom of the right circle, he swept a one-timer under the crossbar off a feed from Panik.

Aston-Reese spoiled Vanecek’s bid for his first career shutout at 15:05 of the third. After Washington defenseman Justin Schultz knocked Penguins defenseman John Marino into Vanecek, Aston-Reese chipped a shot from the low slot over the goalie.

Aston-Reese, who had offseason shoulder surgery, has a goal in each of his first three games back.

–Field Level Media