Penguins defeat Caps 3-2 with strong special teams play (29-Oct-2002)
The Penguins win 3-2 over the Capitals on the strength of one shorthanded and two power play goals. Johan Hedberg made 40 saves including some clutch stops late in the third period while shorthanded and with Washington's goaltender pulled for an extra attacker.
Lines: Morozov-Lemieux-Kovalev, Vujtek-Hrdina-Daigle, LaCouture-Primeau-Nieminen and McKenna-Manderville-Donovan.
Defensive pairings: Tarnstrom-Moran, Bergevin-Rozsival and Laukkanen-Pushor.
Goaltender: Johan Hedberg
Captain: Mario Lemieux
Alternate captains: Alexei Kovalev, Marc Bergevin
Pittsburgh opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal from Shean Donovan at 5:56 of the first period. Donovan skated in from center ice and wristed a seemingly stoppable shot from the right circle which beat Washington goaltender, Craig Billington, through the legs.
Jan Hrdina made it 2-0 Penguins with a power play goal at 13:13. Hrdina picked up a rebound of an Aleksey Morozov shot out front and swept it by Billington.
Pittsburgh, Jan Hrdina 2 (power play) (Aleksey Morozov, Mario Lemieux), 13:13
The Capitals had 1:06 of two-man advantage time near the 15 minute mark but were unable to cash in.
Mario Lemieux was hit under the nose with a deflected shot with two and a half minutes to go in the period and left the ice to get stitches to his upper lip.
Shots after one period were 17-13 in favor of Washington.
Peter Bondra cut the lead to one goal 2:54 into the second period. Bondra scored with a slapshot past a screened Johan Hedberg from the top of the left circle.
Washington, Peter Bondra 4 (Kip Miller, Ken Klee), 2:54
Mario Lemieux returned to the ice after receiving 25 stitches eight minutes into the second period.
Lemieux proceeded to score the eventual game-winner on the power play five minutes after his return. Lemieux took a short pass from Dick Tarnstrom and blasted a high slapshot high far-side past Billington from the left circle.
Washington got a goal with 6.8 seconds to go in the second from Jeff Halpern. After Sergei Gonchar's shot was stopped, Halpern picked up the rebound and one-timed it home from the right circle.
Washington, Jeff Halpern 2 (Sergei Gonchar, Kip Miller), 19:53
Shots after two were 28-20 in favor of Washington.
The third period was all Washington as they outshot Pittsburgh 14-4. The Capitals best chances came with under two minutes to go as they had a power play and then pulled Billington. Hedberg made some clutch saves through screens and then stoned Jaromir Jagr on the doorstep with .3 seconds to go in the game. The fans chanted, "Go Home, Jagr!" and all was right with the world.
Three Stars of the Game:
Johan Hedberg (40 saves)
Mario Lemieux (1g, 1a)
Shots on goal: Pittsburgh - 24, Washington - 42.
Power plays: Pittsburgh 2 of 5, Washington 0 of 7.