for this game

Caps slip past Pens

Feb 18, 2015 - 4:29 AM Pittsburgh, PA ( - Joel Ward scored the winning goal late in the third period as the Washington Capitals took a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson also scored for the Capitals, who grabbed three wins on their four-game road trip. Braden Holtby stopped 32 shots.

"It was a real battle out there tonight," said Ovechkin. "It's always like that when we play these guys. We get excited and have a lot of motivation for these games."

Steve Downie had the only goal of the night for the Penguins, who have lost their last two games. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed two goals on 32 shots.

The Capitals scored with just 1:24 left in the first on a power play, as Ovechkin was sprung on a breakaway down the middle and he lifted a backhand in for his 37th goal of the year.

Pittsburgh tied the game 3:35 into the second when the team crashed the net and Downie eventually snapped a shot home for his 10th goal of the season.

Things started to get chippy in the third after Ovechkin slashed Kris Letang when the two were going for the puck. No penalty was called on the play and Letang wasn't injured.

"I didn't like it," Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said of Ovechkin's slash. "I don't think anybody on the ice saw it, or they would have called it."

Several minutes later, Downie was tossed from the game after sending a punch to the jaw of Jack Hillen after the whistle during a scrum in front of the net.

Shortly after Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz took a boarding call, Letang was whistled for slashing with 4:45 left and the Caps skated 5-on-3.

It didn't take long for the Caps to take the lead, as Nicklas Backstrom sent a cross-crease pass from the right boards to the left side, where Ward snapped it in for his 13th goal of the season.

The Pens had one last chance when Brooks Laich was whistled for goaltender interference with 2:07 to play.

Pittsburgh got Fleury out of the net for a 6-on-4, but Holtby made a nice stop on an Evgeni Malkin shot, and Carlson put the puck in the open net with 12 seconds left to seal the win.

Game Notes

Washington hosts Winnipeg on Thursday ... Pittsburgh hosts Columbus on Thursday ... The Capitals were 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Penguins went 0-for-3 ... Washington has won all three games against Pittsburgh this season and has outscored the Penguins 10-1 in those contests.