for this game

Crosby, Penguins send Capitals to fourth straight defeat

Oct 21, 2007 - 3:53 AM
By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- It was Sidney Crosby against Alex Ovechkin, and in the end, the reigning MVP led his team to victory.

Crosby set up the game-winning goal by defenseman Ryan Whitney as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals, 2-1, on Saturday night.

Jordan Staal scored the tying tally and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots for Pittsburgh, which has won five straight and eight of nine vs. Washington. Last season, the Penguins swept the four-game series between the teams, marking the first time in the nearly 30-year rivalry that one club had swept the other.

"There aren't too many secrets between these teams," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We don't come here with a different plan."

It was Washington's fourth straight loss after starting the season with three consecutive wins. Ovechkin was held without a point for the first time this campaign.

"We just didn't score," Ovechkin said. "They scored two, we scored one, even though we had lots of chances. At the end of the game, we lost."

With the game knotted at 1-1 and Pittsburgh on the power play, Crosby took a pass from Ryan Malone before sending the puck across the ice to Whitney, who slapped it past goaltender Brent Johnson for a 2-1 lead with two minutes remaining in the second period.

"It was a great pass by Sid," Whitney said. "It was a play we designed off the power play - me sneaking down a little bit. It worked again."

It was Crosby's 10th assist in nine contests against Washington. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner, who is the youngest captain in NHL history, also has five career tallies vs. the Capitals.

"Ryan had a couple of chances. His shot is so strong," Crosby said. "He shot one through a screen that almost went in. Obviously, it was a tight game, a 2-1 game. That's the type of contest you have to create chances. There could have been some more goals scored. Maybe it's not 2-1 if the goalies don't make some big saves."

Washington got on the board first when defenseman Brian Pothier gathered a pass by Michael Nylander and rifled a slap shot from just inside the blue line past Fleury at 13:45 of the first for a 1-0 lead.

However, Pittsburgh tied it early in the middle session. A shot by Mark Recchi from the right of the net bounced off Johnson before Staal, who was lurking on the doorstep, jammed the rebound over the left shoulder of the netminder at 3:58.

It was Staal's first tally of the season, ending a 13-game goalless drought dating to last season.

Fleury stood tall in the final period, knocking away all 11 shots he faced for his third win in six contests this season.

"I think the defense did a good job blocking shots, cutting in the passing lane and taking rebounds away," Fleury said.

Johnson made 20 saves for the Capitals, who have been outscored, 17-7, in the four straight defeats.

"It was a couple of bad bounces for us," Johnson said. "I don't think we struggled so much, except for on the scoreboard."

The backup goalie was surprised when he received the start. Olaf Kolzig was slated to play, but just before game time, Capitals coach Glen Hanlon played a hunch, sending in Johnson.

"As it turned out, it was a good call," Hanlon said.

The crowd at the Verizon Center came to their feet 2 1/2 minutes into the third period when Washington tough guy Donald Brashear squared off with fellow enforcer Georges Laraque in a heavyweight battle that had the building rocking.

Laraque delivered the first half-dozen blows before the 6-3, 239-pound Brashear responded with several punches to Laraque's head, including one that knocked the 243-pound Penguin to the ice and sent the fans into a frenzy.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 0 2
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    13:45
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 1 (MARK RECCHI, BROOKS ORPIK) 3:58
    PIT - (PP) RYAN WHITNEY 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, RYAN MALONE) 17:59
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY C

    Oct 20 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 2
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    13:45
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 1 (MARK RECCHI, BROOKS ORPIK) 3:58
    PIT - (PP) RYAN WHITNEY 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, RYAN MALONE) 17:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Oct 20 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) RYAN WHITNEY 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, RYAN MALONE) 17:59

    Penguins vs. CapitalsOct 20 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 1 (MARK RECCHI, BROOKS ORPIK) 3:58

    Penguins vs. CapitalsOct 20 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    13:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 6 6
    WAS 12 12
    GOALIES: PIT - MARC-A

    Oct 20 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 1 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    13:45

    Penguins vs. CapitalsOct 20 7:35 PM
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