It didn’t take long for the scoring to get underway. No more than five minutes into the game and both teams had already scored a combined five goals. Both teams threw defense and goaltending out the window, and both famously high-powered offenses went to work.
Through the first period, it seemed that the Capitals had full control. Pittsburgh repeatedly turned the puck over and burned in the neutral zone giving up plenty of odd-man rushes that would make any coach blow their top.
After the first intermission, however, the Penguins came to play.
Washington found it pretty hard to stay out of the penalty box and the power play capitalized. Pittsburgh outscored Washington 3-1 in the second.
Entering the third with a one-goal lead, they quickly extended it with a goal by Evgeni Malkin less than three minutes in. They held on to this lead for a while, but T.J. Oshie took matters into his own hands and scored two goals 21 seconds apart. The second of those goals turned out to be pretty controversial.
Oshie tipped the puck in, but his stick appeared to be above the crossbar so the referees waved it off. The officials gathered and quickly changed the call to a good goal without an official video review. Penguins’ head coach Mike Sullivan was livid, and rightfully so. Oshie’s goal ended up sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, the penalty troubles really caught up to Washington as they quickly went to the box and put Pittsburgh back on the power play. Once they had it set up, Malkin faked a shot and slap passed it to Kris Letang, who sniped an easy one-timer past Braden Holtby to give the Penguins their first win of the brand new season.
- No worries about the offense yet: The Penguins were able to score a whopping seven goals on Holtby who they had struggled to score against in the playoffs last season. They also registered 41 shots in total throughout the whole game.
- Matt Murray did not look too sharp: While it is only one game, it does not mean you can’t criticize anyone. Murray let a few goals in that he surely will want back. His fundamentals seemed a little off, but he will probably pick that up as we get further into the season.
- Hockey is back: What a way to kick off the season. 13 goals in total in the first game between the two biggest rivals in the whole league right now. Let us take a step back and enjoy our favorite game returning.
The Penguins will take on Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens Saturday, October 6 at PPG Paints Arena.