PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — James Neal had two goals and Evgeni Malkin had two assists, but a power play goal in overtime gave the Pens their first home loss of the season, 3-2 to the Washington Capitals.
Neal’s first period goals gave the Pens an early 1-0 lead, but at 1:20 into the second, Mike Knuble tied it at 1-1.
Alex Ovechkin made it 2-1 just 40 seconds into the third period, but Neal scored his second goal of the night during the power play which eventually forced the game into overtime.
At 2:48, Dennis Wideman scored on the power play with an assist from Nicklas Backstrom.
Pittsburgh again played without star Sidney Crosby, though the 2007 NHL MVP was cleared for contact earlier Thursday as he continues his comeback from concussion-like symptoms.
Crosby’s return remains uncertain, though the Penguins have been just fine without their superstar during the season’s first week, getting off to their best start in 17 years.
They received a boost on Thursday from Malkin, who sat out the previous two games while dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.
His presence seemed to energize the Penguins, who dominated the game for long stretches and outshot the Capitals 41-19.