Well Pittsburgh, you are 0-1 so far today on Superbowl Sunday.
The Washington Capitals, behind a 22 save performance in net from Michal Neuvirth, shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. It was Neuvirth's first game back in net from injury since January 18th.
The Caps and Pens only put 13 shots on the net in the first period, 8-5 Caps. Brooks Laich took a rebound off Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from a booming shot from the blue line by John Erskine, to give the Capitals a 1-0 first period lead. It was Laich's 11th of the season and second in consecutive games. The Laich goal came at the 18:22 mark of the first period and was assisted by Erskine and Mathieu Perreault.
Caps had a goal waved off in the second period by what the refs thought was goalie interference by Matt Hendricks. Bad missed call by the refs as Hendricks was pushed into Fleury. That sent the Pens to the power play as Hendricks was also sent to the sin bin. It didn't matter. The Caps would score a short-handed tally, an amazing back hand goal by youngster Marcus Johansson. What an outstanding effort by Johansson, taking the puck near center ice and delivering the back handed blow to the Pens. It was his 7th goal of the season and was assisted by Jeff Schultz. Caps and Pens were even at 10-10 on shots on net.
The final goal came on am empty net, a well deserved Mike Knuble goal. Earlier in the third, the refs, somehow, missed a high stick penalty that delivered a blow to Knuble's eye. Knuble got even on the empty net situation, scoring his 13th of the season and putting the final nail in the Penguins coffin.
Mike Green was injured in the first period, taking a puck to the side of his face as he bled from his ear. Green did not return, but never left Verizon Center, a good sign. Pens were without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, while the Caps were without Mike Green for two period, Alexander Semin, and Eric Fehr. Semin is epxected to return next week.
Big win for the Capitals as they will watch the Tampa Bay Lightning match up today against the St. Louis Blues. Temporarily at least, the Caps pull to within 1 point of Tampa.
Caps power play was 0-2 today. The penalty kill unit continues playing at an extremely impressive level, killing all 4 Pen power play opportunities. Prior to giving up one two days ago against Tampa Bay, the Caps PK unit successfully killed 33 of their last 34.
DCPSR Player of the Game:
Michal Neuvirth, shutout, stopping all 22 shots.
Brooks Laich has scored two goal in TWO straight game.
Mathieu Perreault has a THREE game point streak and a THREE game assists streak.