A power play goal from Kevin Shattenkirk was the difference-maker Monday night, as the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime. The win gives the Capitals their first victory in the series against the Penguins, and cuts Pittsburgh's second-round series lead to 2-1.
Nicklas Backstrom got the visitors from Washington on the board 6:55 into the opening period. Parallel to Pittsburgh's red line, Backstrom fired a wrist shot toward the net. The puck bounced off the stick of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, then off defenseman Ian Cole before finding the back of the net for the five-on-three goal.
The third period saw Evgeny Kuznetsov extend the Capitals' lead to 2-0 at 10:14. The Penguins cut the deficit to one goal with less than two minutes left and then tied the game 48 seconds later. Evgeni Malkin struck first for the Penguins and was followed by Justin Schultz. Both goals came with an extra skater on the ice after Pittsburgh emptied its net.
Pittsburgh's Trevor Daley got called for holding 2:40 into the extra period to put Washington on its fifth power play of the night. Shattenkirk ended the game :33 later with a blast from the high slot.
"Our breakout was a little unorthodox, but we just winged it," Shattenkirk told NBC Sports Network's Pierre McGuire. "We took what they gave us. Brought the play over to Nicky and we know he’s so dynamic, when he comes in, players give him that time and space. I just tried to find an option for him and felt like I had that shot.
"I think there’s a lot of guys here who have been around for a long time and have suffered playing against this team. But we believe this year, we’re ready to change that script and we knew we had to come out here and play our best game, and I feel like we did."
Full recap | Box score | Highlights
The game was overshadowed to an extent, though, by injuries to Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary. Crosby left the game at 5:24 in the first period after losing his balance and getting cross-checked above the shoulders by Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen. Crosby laid on the ice for a considerable period of time before heading down the tunnel. Niskanen received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Sheary got hurt less than three minutes into the second period after colliding with teammate Patric Hornqvist. Neither Crosby or Sheary returned to the game.
"It was an unfortunate play," Niskanen told NHL.com reporter Katie Brown. "I certainly didn't mean to injure him."
Game 3 is set for Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Highlight of the Night
Normally we write something snarky or quick-witted to describe the play of the night, but not tonight because if we did, it would take away from how amazing Fleury's save was.
3. Evgeni Malkin (PIT) - Malkin recorded a goal and an assist Monday night.
2. Justin Schultz (PIT) - Like Malkin, Schultz netted a goal and an assist Monday night. Schultz's game-tying goal with 65 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.
1. Kevin Shattenkirk (WSH) - Shattenkirk bagged the game-winning goal in overtime to keep the Washington Capitals away from the brink of a potential second-round sweep.