PITTSBURGH — Tom Wilson scored the go-ahead goal with 8:25 remaining in the third period, and the Washington Capitals handed the Pittsburgh Penguins their fourth straight loss with a 6-3 win at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.
Wilson scored on a snap shot glove side to put Washington ahead 4-3 after chipping the puck past Pittsburgh defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the neutral zone and driving to the left face-off circle.
“On the road, you often have to come together as a group to get it done,” Wilson said. “You’re out on the road and playing in a loud building. That felt like a playoff atmosphere. The rink was loud. There was a lot of energy. To come together and play well in that type of game is encouraging down the line .”
Video: WSH@PIT: Wilson rips puck past Jarry in transition
alex ovechkin scored his eighth goal in 11 games, and Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for the Capitals (39-22-10), who have won two straight and four of six. They are four points behind the Penguins for third in the Metropolitan Division and 13 ahead of the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Yevgeny Malkin got his 700th NHL assist, and tristan jarry made 39 saves for Pittsburgh (41-22-10), which is 2-6-1 in its past nine games. sidney crosby was held without a point after missing one game with a non-COVID illness.
The Penguins are eight points behind the New York Rangers for second in the division.
“Tonight, for me, was a different story than some of the other games,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “Tonight, we just weren’t good enough. We didn’t play well enough. We didn’t execute. We were careless with the puck. So tonight, we beat ourselves in a lot of ways.”
Yevgeny Kuznetsov made it 5-3 with 1:41 left on a shorthanded empty-net goal before Martin Fehervary scored another empty-net goal for the 6-3 final with 27 seconds remaining.
The Penguins and Capitals each scored in the first 1:01 of the first period.
Bryan Rust gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 45 seconds into the period. Malkin passed to Jake Guentzelwhose shot produced a rebound for a wrist shot from Rust in the slot.
Marcus Johansson scored 16 seconds later to tie it 1-1 when Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin sent a clearing attempt off him that deflected into the net.
“The response to their goal early by our goal, that was important,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “I didn’t mind the game after that. … As the game went on, I thought we got better and better defensively.”
Video: WSH@PIT: Rust, Johansson score 16 seconds apart early
It was Johansson’s first goal for the Capitals since April 8, 2017. Johansson was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Kraken on March 21 and played for Washington from 2010-2017.
“It’s always nice to get that first one,” Johansson said. “It’s always fun to be part of scoring and all that, but as long as we win, I couldn’t care less.”
Dmitry Orlov put Washington ahead 2-1 at 7:24 with a slap shot glove side from the left face-off circle for his NHL career-high 11th goal of the season.
Jeff Carter tied it 2-2 with a backhand at 18:34 before brian boyle gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead at 19:34 on a wrist shot from a sharp angle.
“We weren’t good enough to win,” Boyle said. “Played well for two periods. Then we weren’t good enough to win. That’s just not OK at this time of year. … Come playoff time, I don’t care how we play. We have to get wins.”
Video: WSH@PIT: Ovechkin nets PPG for 44th goal of season
Ovechkin tied it 3-3 on a 5-on-3 power play at 4:49 of the second period, scoring his 44th goal of the season on a one-timer from the left circle off a no-look pass from John Carlson.
“We play a little loose and the puck’s in the back of the net,” Penguins defenseman John Marino said. “At some point, you have to play a full 60-minute game.”
NOTES: Ovechkin, 36, is tied for a second with Gordie Howe for most goals in a season by a player at least 36 years old in NHL history. Teemu Selanne was 36 when he scored 48 with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. … Ovechkin scored on Jarry for the first time. He has scored a regular-season goal against 158 different goalies. The only players to score against more different goalies are Jaromir Jagr (178), Patrick Marleau (177) and Mark Messier (164). … Marino returned from missing one game with a non-COVID illness to one block at 16:05 of ice time. …Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway had two shots on goal and one block in 10:49 after being out one game with a non-COVID illness, replacing conor sheary at first-line right wing. Sheary did not play with a non-COVID illness. …Pittsburgh forward Jason Zucker had five hits and one block in 9:20 after being sidelined three games with a lower-body injury sustained against the Minnesota Wild on March 31. That was his first game back since having core muscle surgery Jan. 25.