Is there a better rivalry in the NHL right now than the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals? The teams opened their seasons against each other back in October with a wild game that needed a shootout to decide the winner. In November, the Caps shocked the world with a 7-1 win over the defending champs and then just last week put an end to the Penguins’ five-game winning streak with a 5-2 result. Tonight, it’s almost as if the two sides colluded to produce the best result for our entertainment in their final (regular season) match-up of the year. After going up 2-0 in the first period, Washington allowed six goals in the second while scoring three of their own for a total of nine goals in just twenty minutes. Then, two goals for the Capitals and another for the Penguins tied it up at 7-7 and took the game to overtime. A goal by Conor Sheary in overtime clinched it for Pittsburgh, as unfortunately one team had to come out on top and the game had to come to an end, but only after 15 goals.
The OT goal was Crosby’s third assist of the game, to go along with a goal, but he was just one of the game’s many amazing performances. Fellow Pittsburgh superstar Evgeni Malkin put together a hat trick, all in the second period to lead both teams in goals. Sheary had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, and defensemen Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley combined for seven assists. On the Washington side, T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists, while Lars Eller added two goals, including the game-tying tally late in the third. On the other hand, it was clearly a night to forget for all of the goaltenders involved.
Unbelievably, the nine goals in a period were not the league record and neither was the Penguins’ six by themselves. However, the six goals scored in the second is the most scored by the Penguins in a game since 2000, when they scored that many in a match-up against the New York Islanders.
The season series between these two teams ends tied at two games apiece and also snaps the Capital’s nine-game winning streak. All hockey fans can hope for now is that these two teams meet up in the playoffs, which could end up being one of the most anticipated series of all time.