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Darcy Kuemper holds Penguins at bay as Capitals win

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2023, 13:40 GMT+10

Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves, and stopped two of three shots in the shootout, and Alex Ovechkin posted his 32nd goal of the season, as the Washington Capitals outlasted the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins for a 3-2 victory on Thursday night.

Kuemper was stout most of the night while dueling Pittsburgh's Casey DeSmith, who made a season-high 43 saves. After allowing Rickard Rakell to score on the Penguins' first shootout attempt, he stopped superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in back-to-back rounds.

Meanwhile, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom, who each had an assist in regulation, converted in the shootout round to help the Capitals avoid a third straight loss.

The victory was just the fourth in the last 10 games for Washington, which like Pittsburgh, is trying to remain in playoff position in the Eastern Conference

DeSmith was sharp all evening, but Pittsburgh could only muster goals from Danton Heinen and Bryan Rust while losing a fourth consecutive road contest. The Penguins, though, are amid a 3-0-3 stretch overall.

At 5:17 into the third period, after taking a drop pass from Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson drove the puck from the top of the circle and over the glove of DeSmith to give Washington a 2-1 lead.

However, Rust answered with 7:08 remaining in regulation when he ripped the puck in nearly the same spot on Kuemper to tie the game at 2-2.

Ovechkin opened the scoring on the power play just six minutes into the game when he one-timed a seam pass from Kuznetsov. Ovechkin has scored in back-to-back games after going three straight without a goal.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has allowed opponents to score nine power-play goals in its last six contests.

Even though the Capitals significantly outshot the Penguins 21-7 in the first, that was the period's only goal.

Pittsburgh equalized 2:37 into the second, when Heinen snuck in the rebound of his own shot.

Crosby registered an assist to extend his point streak to six games.

--Field Level Media

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