Penguins put forth another incomplete effort in 3-2 shootout loss

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

WASHINGTON – The Penguins, consistently inconsistent, put forth another incomplete effort Thursday. But as has often been the case over the last couple of weeks, they managed to skate away with something in the standings.

The Penguins rallied in the latter stages of the third period to pick up a point but they lost, 3-2, to the Washington Capitals in a shootout at Capital One Arena.

Bryan Rust tied the score, 2-2, with 7:08 left in regulation. Skating in on the rush, he caught Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper cheating and snapped a short-side shot over the goalie’s glove. Not a bad way to notch his 300th career point.

That goal sent the Penguins into OT for the fifth time in their last six games.

Casey DeSmith, looking to win back-to-back starts for just the second time this season, stood tall as the Penguins killed a 4-on-3 power play in overtime.

Later, Kuemper stuffed Brian Dumoulin at the buzzer down at the other end.


Nick Backstrom’s goal in the third round of the shootout won it for Washington.

This was, even in late January, a game that could have ramifications come April. The Penguins and Capitals, who presently occupy the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference standings, both entered the night with 56 points.

The Capitals were shot out of a cannon Thursday. They drilled Dumoulin and Jake Guentzel on the first shift, threw several other heavy hits and used their cycle game to hem the Penguins in their defensive zone for long stretches.

Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal from his sweet spot in the left circle to put the Penguins in another early hole. Their killers were wary of the No. 2 scorer in NHL history and his wicked right-handed one-timer, shading a forward over to him throughout the power play. But all it took was one lapse and bang.


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