WASHINGTON, D.C. (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins saw their five-game winning streak snapped on the road against the Washington Capitals Sunday afternoon.
One day after Evgeni Malkin was deemed to have a torn ACL and MCL, the Penguins were shutout 3-0 by the rival Capitals.
Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves, while Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble provided all the offense the Capitals would need.
Laich struck late in the first period to seize momentum for Washington. John Erskine’s slap shot from the point was stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury, but Laich was left alone in front and shoveled the rebound home.
In the second period, a shorthanded goal by Johansson proved to be the turning point of the game.
The Penguins were applying good pressure in the offensive zone with the man-advantage. However, Kris Letang’s turnover at the blue line allowed the Capitals to rush up ice the other way.
Johansson crossed into the slot and let a backhand shot go through traffic that found twine behind Fleury.
For his part, Fleury made several big saves to keep the Penguins’ hopes alive, but the offense was unable to sustain pressure for most of the game.
Fleury finished the game with 22 saves and saw his personal seven-game win streak snapped.
As time started to wind down in the third period, a collision between Matt Cooke and Alex Ovechkin, which resembled a similar one between Ovechkin and Sergei Gonchar during their 2009 Eastern Conferense semi-final playoff series, left the Capitals’ captain in some pain.
Ovechkin gingerly skated to the bench, but was able to return to the game.
Mike Knuble added an empty netter with 43.6 seconds to play to ice the victory for the Capitals.
The Penguins will return home to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night at 7 p.m.