for this game

Pens down slumping Caps

Dec 2, 2011 - 3:12 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Chris Kunitz scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat the Washington Capitals, 2-1, at Verizon Center.

Craig Adams found the back of the net in the first period for Pittsburgh, which got 16 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Penguins have won four of six games since Sidney Crosby returned last week.

The Pittsburgh captain took a hard hit against the Capitals in the Winter Classic last January and played one more game before being sidelined with a concussion that kept him out until November 21.

Jason Chimera had the lone goal for the Capitals, who have lost four games in a row, including two straight under new head coach Dale Hunter. Washington has dropped eight of 10 overall.

"The effort is there. We just have to get more pucks to the net," Chimera said.

Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves in defeat.

Pittsburgh moved back in front at the 2:36 mark of the third period. Kunitz poked the puck away from a Capitals player near the offensive blue line, entered the Washington zone and fired a wrister from between the circles past Vokoun.

The Capitals generated only two shots over the final 20 minutes.

"Anytime you can keep that team under 20 shots, you're playing well defensively. But you're also playing with the puck and going the other way," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma.

The Penguins grabbed a 1-0 lead when Arron Asham emerged from behind the Washington net at the right post and slipped a pass through the crease to an unguarded Adams waiting at the back door. Adams slammed the puck home 5:21 into the contest.

Chimera potted the equalizer 80 seconds into the second period. Chimera came out of the left corner and beat Fleury on the glove side with a backhander for his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Moments earlier, Joel Ward hustled to negate an icing call and keep the puck in the Pittsburgh zone.

Game Notes

Washington had gone 11-0-2 in the last 13 regular-season meetings against the Penguins since a 4-2 home loss on March 9, 2008...Chimera matched his goal output from last season...Penguins defenseman Simon Despres made his NHL debut after being called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Thursday. The 20-year-old was the final player taken in the first round of the 2009 Draft. Despres earned his first NHL point with the secondary assist on Kunitz's goal.