Pens Fall To Caps 3-1 In Rainy Winter Classic

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The Winter Classic was delayed due to rain, but once the puck dropped on hockey’s biggest regular season stage, it was the Washington Capitals that skated away with two points.

Rain forced the game to be delayed from its original start time of 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. Being played under the lights at Heinz Field in primetime made for an electric atmosphere.

The game was billed as a showdown between Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, but neither player made an impact on the scoreboard.

Instead, it was Eric Fehr who scored two goals two power the Caps to a 3-1 win.

After a scoreless first period in which the two teams adjusted to playing outdoors at night – many never had at any organized level – and the choppy ice, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead.

Marc-Andre Fleury stoned Ovechkin on a wrist shot in the slot. Kris Letang picked up the puck and found Evgeni Malkin streaking behind the defense.

Malkin took the pass off the boards and beat Varlamov between the legs at 2:15.

Just over four minutes later, the Capitals tied the game on the power play.

The Pens were unable to get their sticks on a loose puck in the crease before Mike Knuble pushed it under Fleury.

The Caps took the lead for good after receiving a gift.

Fleury went behind the net to play the puck, but lost control of it. Marcus Johansson fed Fehr, who buried the puck into the empty net.

The Penguins appeared to have tied the game late in the second period, but it was immediately called back.

Semyon Varlamov took a bump from Mike Rupp, who was crashing the net. The puck trickled across the line, but it was disallowed due to goaltender interference.

Early in the third period, Malkin had a chance to tie the game, but rang his backhand shot off the post.

Fehr sealed the deal with a breakaway goal at 11:59 of the third period.

The ice was unpredictable, perhaps because of the 50-degree gametime temperature – the warmest yet – and the moist air. Ovechkin was a victim of the ice, tumbling onto his stomach while winding up a shot from the blue line with about three minutes remaining in a scoreless first period.

The fourth Winter Classic became the first played at night, and the first in rain. There was a mist at times during the first two periods that became steady rain throughout the third, when the ice maintained a like-new look as if it was constantly being resurfaced by a Zamboni. There also was a trail behind the puck on any shot or pass.

Penguins forward Jordan Staal, out all season with an infected right foot and a broken right hand, played his first game in nearly eight months. He showed a lot of jump early, but didn’t figure in the scoring.

  • me

    I’m glad it’s over. I’m sick of hearing about it. It’s just another regular season hockey game. Another example of over-hyped BS to get people to spend money. I’m not that stupid.

    • Shockly

      Spending money creates more revenue for the seller which he then spends and so on, quit being a miserable miser.

  • Shockly

    This was not an enjoyable television watching experience, the camera angles were awful, will have to ask people who attended if it was any better in person.

  • m

    The camera angles were 100% better than a regular game broadcast. They should install that camera/cable system at the Consol. That was the most enjoyable thing about the whole affair. The only thing that could have been better was if the Pens would have won the semi-meaningless regular season hockey game.

  • bill

    camera angles were bad.

  • John Koval

    I had a great time Friday and Saturday…. only spent $25 for the alumni game on Friday, only tailgated for the Winter Classic and spent $35 for parking and watched the game at Stage AE next to Heinz Field ( highly recommend that place) the only problem was the rain.

  • Joe

    There is a reason why hockey is played in an arena and not a stadium. I was at the game. Everything about the event except the game was spectacular, but watching a hockey on a rink on a football field just does not cut it. It was definitely an event and the musical lineup was amazing. Barenaked Ladies (lead singer), Jackie Evancho, Hinder, The Clarks, and Styx.
    Chances are if the Penguins would play a yearly game at Heinz Field, I probably would not go every year. Maybe every few years, but not every year.

  • Ilovethiscity

    The event was wonderful. Now will all the hockey bandwagoners get off because I think the wheels are about to break.

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