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Penguins at Capitals - 01-11-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Greetings from wet and dreary Washington D.C. It's in the 40s and the rain is coming in sideways. An ugly day. A few sights from our drive in:

-If you didn't this was one of the original service plaza for the nation's first long-distance superhighway and that on October 1, 1940, the Turnpike opened, stretching 160 miles from Irwin to Carlisle or that the turnpike commission had been created in 1937; construction utilized the old South Pennsylvania Railroad's right-of-way and tunnels and additionally, by 1957 the Turnpike spanned 360 miels across the state and extende 110 miles north to Scranton, you do now:

-There are only so many times in your life that you will drive by the Australian embassy to the United States:

-The Smithsonian American Art Museum:

-The Penguins are as popular as ever here:

-The barn:

-The ice:

-If you haven't heard, Dustin Jeffrey was taken off injured reserve is in the lineup tonight and he will center Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy. No word yet on who will be taken out of the lineup.

-Simon Despres was placed on injured reserve due to a sprained knee.

-Additionally, Sidney Crosby is on the trip and will resume skating by himself.

-A few sights around the arena. Dale Hu__er:

-Scott Stevens:

-Sergei Fedorov:

-Third Party jersey foul here. Zdeno Chara Bruins:

-Another Henrik Lundqvist:

(Not a jersey foul on account of the Penguins and Capitals each being rivals with the Rangers.)

-Kelly Miller:

-Alexander Semin Team Russia:

-There are some friendlies here:

-These two are valiantly swimming up stream:

-Mario Lemieux:

-Sidney Cr__by with a pink hood foul:

-Tee shirt of the night: Penn Brewery:

-A complicated relationship:

-The crowd controls is really impressive:

-Jersey Foul of the Night: This might technically be a jersey foul, but it's pretty hardcore. If you pony up the money to buy a Craig Smith Predators jersey, you're a legit fan:

-Jersey of the Night: Joe Reekie with an autograph:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Steve MacIntyre, Colin McDonald and Joe Vitale.

-Vitale is a surprise. We thought he was one of the few Penguins who had a strong game last night.

-According to the Penguins' Web site, the team's lines will be:

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Pascal Dupuis - Dustin Jeffrey - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Richard Park - Steve Sullivan
Eric Tangradi - Craig Adams - Arron Asham

Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

-With Vitale and Jordan Staal both out of the lineup, it will be interesting to see if Jeffrey gets any penalty kill time.

-The Capitals' starters are Troy Brouwer, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Karl Alzner, Jeff Carlson and Tomas Vokoun.

-Their scratches are John Erskine, Mike Green, Jeff Schultz.

-The national anthem:

FIRST PERIOD

19:43: Kunitz races up the right wing and snaps off  across ice pass from teh boards to Martin who is deep on the left wing. Martin is a step slow and misses the puck.

18:21: Dupuis motors up the right wing and lifts a high wrister from the right circle. Vokoun bodies it away with his chest.

17:41: Adams mashes Matt Hendricks into the right wing boards of the Capitals' zone. Hendricks turns and invites Adams to fight. Adams accepts. They circle around another and engages. They lock up and wrestle around. Hendricks lands a few rights to the side of Adams' neck/shoulder. Adams slips and falls with Hendricks on top of him. Give that one to Hendricks.

16:43: Off a steal, Malkin floats a backhander from the slot on net. Vokoun fights it off.

14:18: Off a turnover by Malkin on the right wing wall of the Penguins' zone, Brooks laich drives to the cage off the boards and tries to jam in a low shot. Fleury fends him off. Malkin hooks down Laich. There's a scrum for the puck. No call.

14:10: Asham pumps a slapper from the right wing. Vokoun eats it up.

10:26: Ovechkin spin in the left circle and whips a wrister towards the cage. Park and Semin are in front. It hits off one of them and deflects away.

9:27: Off some hard work behind hte cage by Asham and Tangradi, Malkin has a chance in tight denied.

8:24: Roman Hamrlik coasts into the offensive zone, uses a defender as a screen and snaps off a wrister from the slot which Fleury fights off.

7:54: Neal snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Vokoun gloves it and freezes play. Adams and Hendricks leave the penalty box and their teammates "clap" their sticks in appreciation.

5:47: From the slot, John Carlson puts a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up. Laich drives to the net. A scrum develops with Laich and Engelland in teh middle of it.

5:12: Mike Knuble lifts a wrister from above the left circle. Against all laws of physics, Fleury actually stops a Mike Knuble shot.

4:35: The Capitals strike first. Malkin fumbles the puck at the Capitals blue line due to some pressure from Joel Ward Halpern ends up with it on the right wing of the neutral zone. Halpern deals a pass to Chimera. Chimera motors in and snaps off a wrister which toasts Fleury. Put that one on Malkin. Halpern and Ward get assists. Malkin could make a case for that one. Capitals 1-0.

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3:57: Fleury mishandles a puck behind the net. Semin is there and nearly scores on the open net but he can't cleanly handle the puck.

2:44: Ovechkin runs over Adams at the blue line in front of the Penguins' bench.

0:00: End of period. Capitals 1, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The Penguins actually looked somewhat better that first period in comparison to last night's first period. They limited their mistakes (except one big one) and they were a little bit more consistent in pressuring the goal.

-That said, it was that one big mistake which did them in that period. And mistakes have been killing this team.

-The Capitals have done a better job at driving to the net.

-It's difficult to say Dustin Jeffrey stood out that period. He had had 4:22 of ice time on six shifts and was credited with one hit. He was 0 for 1 on faceoffs.

-The Penguins have a 9-6 lead in shots.

-Malkin lead sthe game with three.

-Laich leads the Capitals with two.

-Orpik leads the game with 8:55 of ice time.

-Dmitry Orlov leads the Capitals with 7:42.

-The Capitals are dominating faceoffs, 10-3 (77 percent).

-Laich is 4 for 5 (80 percent).

-Cooke is 1 for 1 (100 percent).

-Joel Ward leads the game with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

18:09: Ovechkin coats up the left wing, gains the offensive zone and deals a pass to Carlson trailing in the slot. Carlson pumps a slapper on net. Fleury punches it out with his blocker.

16:21: Asham floats a wrister on net from the right wing. Vokoun kicks it out.

15:36: Tangradi battles for puck possession in the right wing corner, going back and forth a few times. He shakes off Mathieu Perreault and drives to the cage. He chops a low shot on net which Vokoun fights off. Great play by Tangradi.

14:22: Kennedy runs into the side of Vokoun as he fights off a shot. Kennedy fall on top of Vokoun knocking him over. That's two mintues for goaltending interference.  Park, Orpik, Michalek and Cooke take the ice.

13:42: Using Michalek as a screen, Semin grips and rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury kicks it out with his right leg.

12:22: The Kennedy penalty is killed. The Capitals did next to nothing with that chance.

11:36: Brouwer gets loose on the right wing and appears to have the makings of a breakaway but he loses the puck. Lovejoy catches up and forces a turnover.

9:18: Off a faceoff win the left circle, Tomas Kundratek lobs a wrister from the left point. Fleury gloves it. A small scrum breaks out in front of the crease.

6:45: After a few minutes of stale play, Malkin taps a pass from the right wing corner to ovjoy at the right point. Lovjeoy booms a lapper which Vokoun gloves.

6:18: Cooke lifts a wrister from the right circle. Vokoun kicks it out. Cooke follows up on the rebound and punches it on net. Vokoun says no.

4:57: Replays show Dupuis crashing into the left wing corner of the Capitals' zone with a slight shove from Hamrlik. Dupuis' leg bent in an ugly fashion. Surprisingly, he's still on the bench and and appears fine.

3:57: Brouwer snaps off a rister from the right wing on net. Fleury fights it off.

3:31: Off a neutral zone faceoff, Asham appeared to invite Hendricks to a fight. Hendricks declined.

1:30: Malkin headed down the tunnel to the dressing room.

0:19: Dupuis smacks a backhander from deep on the right wing. Vokoun kicks it out.

0:04: Semin snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off.

0:01: Wideman whips a last second backhander on net from the left. Fleury punches it out.

0:00: End of period. Capitals 1, Penguins 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-We haven't had to call on her too much this season, but we're forced to now:

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-Erika the EN Yawn Baby.

-This has been a brutally boring display of hockey. Neither team is really taking too many chances. Both squads seem content to take a bunch of junky perimeter shots. And for the most part, both teams are just sitting back.

-It's almost foreign to suggest the Penguins still have a chance in this game.

-The Penguins have a 20-12 lead in shots.

-Dupuis, Asham and Malkin each lead the game with three shots.

-Laich, Semin and Carlson each lead the Capitals with two.

-Orpik leads the game with 18:06 of ice time.

-Wideman leads the Capitals with 16:20.

-The Capitals have a 20-13 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Jeff Halpern is 5 for 6 (83 percent).

-Cooke is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-Ward, Hamrlik and Michalek each lead the game with two blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: Malkin has returned. Dupuis remains in the game too.

18:03: After Michalek appears to get away with a trip, Ovechkin puts a clunky wrister on net from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.

17:55: After Martin and Orpik combine for a turnover, Ovechkin rips a wrister from the right angle. Fleury eats it up. Orpik and Martin each owe Fleury a beer.

16:57: Hendricks takes a pass and relases a wrister from the left circle which clinks off the far post. So close.

15:37: Chimera races up the left wing. Kunitz flies over to hit him but gets nothing but boards.

14:31: Kennedy ropes a wrister from the left wing. Vokoun steers it away.

14:22: Semin hustles up the right wing with the puck on his backhand. He challenges Martin one-on-one but takes a tumble and loses the puck

13:44: Karl Alzner tees up a slapper form the left point. It hit something in front and deflects wde.

13:24: Carlsson booms a one-timer form the right point over the cage.

12:50: Dupuis Murphy Dumps the puck down ice to allow his team a line change. The Capitals have dominated this period.

10:57: Cooke takes a pass in the left circle and whips it on net. Vokoun fights it off.

10:49: Knuble drives up the left wing and leaves a drop pass at the left point. Alzner booms it on net. Fleury kicks it out with his left skate.

10:03: Ovechkin circles around the net from the right wing and deals a pass to the slot. Alzner whips a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off. Fleury is doing everything he can to keep his team in this.

9:41: Ovechkin roars in off the left wing and snaps off a wrister wide of the cage.

9:28: Semin has wide open net from the left circle but Park slides down to block his shot. That was a game changer.

8:25: With an icing call, the Capitals call a time out to get a breather. The Capitals continue to dominate this period. They have all the puck possession.

7:44: Niskanen attemps a one-timer from the right point but his stick breaks. That's just the Penguins' luck right now.

7:03: Adams rams Kundratek into the right wing corner boards of the Capitals' zone with a solid check.

6:18: Off a steal by Kennedy in the Capitals' zone, Malkin attempts to flip a backhander into the net from a tough angle on the right wing with Vokoun swimming in his crease. Vokoun is able to lift his left leg up and prevent the goal. Tough save.

6:13: That lame "UNLEASH THE FURY" video is played:

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Dupuis is called for slashing Hamrlik. This is a do or die kill for the Penguins. Orpik, Michalek, Cooke and  Park take the ice.

5:24: Cooke is able to whip a puck down ice from the left of his own cage.

4:30: Engelland chops a slapper from his own left circle down ice to kill some more time.

4:13: The Penguins get a HUGE kill. The Capitals did nothing with that chance beyond waste two minutes.

3:34: Neal snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Vokoun fights if off. Neal has a chance at the rebound but he tumbles over Carlson.

3:23: Malkin snaps off a backhander from the right wing. Vokoun eats it up.

2:31: Ovechkin floats a backhander from the left wing. Fleury fights it off.

2:11: Neal has a chance with a loose puck in the slot but can't get by Alzner.

2:07: Malkin has a chance with a seemingly wide open net on the right wing but Vokoun is able to sldie ot his right and knocks it down with his chest and covers to freez play. Malkin looks up in frustration.

1:21: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:45: Martin snaps off a one-timer from the right circle which gets blcked. The rebound is cleared down ice.

0:23: Malkin triees to feed a pass to Kunitz on the right wing with a backdoor play but Alzner appear to break it up. Huge play.

0:20: Dan Bylsma calls a time out to get organized.

0:12: Off a faceoff wing, the Capitals ice the puck. Martin touches up to get the faceoff in the offensive zone.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 1, Capitals 0.

POSTGAME

-The Penguins have nothing to be ashamed of as a result of tonight's game. They gave a pretty complete straight forward effort tonight. They made one mistake and lost. They just don't have the firepower right now to make up for those mistakes.

-Overall, this was a pretty ugly display of hockey. This was not the type of hockey we expect from these rivals.

-Fleury was outstanding. The Capitals tried to put the last nail in the coffin with an outstanding rush to start the third period and Fleury fended off shot after shot. He deserved better.

-Not that the Penguins' power-play is all that scary right now, but not getting one power-play chance tonight did not help matters.

-The Chris Kunitz-Evgeni Malkin-Jame Neal was pretty well bottled up tonight. The Capitals' defensive pairing of Karl Alzner and John Carlson pretty much were on that trio all night. And the Capitals third and fourth lines did a wonderful job of backchecking against those three as well.

-It's kind of scary to say this, but the Capitals are a pretty good defensive team under Dale Hunter.

-The Capitals did a wonderful job of limited the Penguins to a ton of junk perimeter shots. The Penguins genertated very little from near the cage.

-If you can imagine such a thing, Tomas Vokoun had another strong game against the Penguins. He's only 9-10-6 in his career against the Penguins but his save percentage against them now is .927. This was his third career shutout against the Penguins.

-Dustin Jeffrey was hardly noticeable tonight. It's probably a little unfair to expect to much out of a guy who has played little hockey this season. Especially coming off a knee injury. It's going to take a little while for him to get his legs back. He had 13:59 of ice time on 18 shifts, no shots and was 3 for 7 in faceoffs.

-Alexander Semin looked like a dangerous player tonight. He had several quality opportunities. The Penguins just defended him pretty well for the most part and once again, Fleury was outstanding.

-NBC Sports kept showing Sidney Crosby in the press box tonight. We're pretty sure we noticed his suit more than we did Alex Ovechkin tonight.

-The Penguins led in shots, 30-21.

-Malkin led the game with six shots.

-Ovechkin led the Capitals with four.

-Orpik led the game with 27:12 of ice time.

-Dennis Wideman led the Capitals with 25:21.

-The Capitals had a 25-20 lead in faceoffs (56 percent).

-Jeff Halpern was 8 for 10 (83 percent).

-Richard Park was 6 for 9 (67 percent).

-Roman Hamrlik led the game with four blocked shots.

-Zbynek Michalek led the Penguins with two.

-The Capitals have now shutout the Penguins three in the past two seasons. Michal Neuvirth had two last season.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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