RECAP: Kasperi Kapanen’s OT goal lifts Pittsburgh Penguins over Washington Capitals

By Field Level Media
Feb 23, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson (28) battle for the puck in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kasperi Kapanen scored at the end of a two-on-one breakaway 1:43 into overtime to give the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

The Penguins now have beaten the Capitals in four of the five meetings this season. The two teams will face off again Thursday night in Washington.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Penguins, check out #LetsGoPens rumors, rankings, and news here.

The winning play was set up by Teddy Blueger racing up the right wing. Kapanen (one goal, one assist) came in on the left, took a quick Blueger pass and fired a shot that beat Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek just inside the left post.

Sidney Crosby played in career game No. 1,001 for Pittsburgh. He helped create some dangerous scoring chances as the Penguins outshot Washington 37-22, but Crosby did not get a point.

Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry started for the sixth time in seven games and made the saves he needed, finishing with 20 stops.

Vanecek was back in the net for the 14th time in 15 games after getting a break Sunday for Washington’s 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Ilya Samsonov, trying to make his comeback from COVID-19 issues, is working his way back into shape while playing with the Hershey Bears, Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate.

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The Penguins had scored just two power-play goals on the road coming into this game, but Evgeni Malkin gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead with an extra-man score at the 6:41 mark of the first period.

Malkin deflected a Kris Letang shot from near the blue line while standing just off to the side of Vanecek. In the first period, the Penguins controlled play, outshooting the Capitals 12-6 and coming up with several scoring chances.

Washington did a better job in the second period, scoring twice. The first goal came from Richard Panik at 4:38. The Capitals then took a 2-1 lead with 6:42 left in the period. Evgeny Kuznetsov helped create a turnover along the left wall, moved to the middle and passed to former Penguin Conor Sheary, and he scored from the right circle.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Capitals, check out #ALLCAPS rumors, rankings, and news here.

That lead, though, lasted just 22 seconds as Jake Guentzel deflected a shot into the net to make it 2-2. Guentzel earlier picked up an assist on Malkin’s goal.

–Field Level Media