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Capitals dominate early to take 2-0 lead, Marc-Andre Fleury keeps Penguins in the game

Matt Hendricks, John Erskine, Jay Beagle, Marcus Johansson

Washington Capitals center Matt Hendricks, center, is congratulated by teammates John Erskine, left, Jay Beagle (83) and Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (90) after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


The first period was reasonably even matched despite the disparity in star power between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, but the Caps looked like they would take a commanding lead in the second period.

Marcus Johansson scored thanks to a seeing-eye backhand shot while Washington was shorthanded, but Marc-Andre Fleury kept the Penguins in the game by making some huge saves when things looked especially dire.

The box score might read that the two teams tied with 10 shots each, but the fact is that the game could have been long gone. To Pittsburgh’s credit, they seemed to settle down after Fleury made some big stops on the penalty kill.

Mike Green’s exact status is not clear just yet, but the Capitals’ most important defenseman did not return to the bench during the middle period.

Washington is in the driver’s seat with a 2-0 lead, but they need to find the right balance between protecting their lead and taking their foot off the gas in the third period. We’ll be there to cover it for you, so feel free to follow our chat and online coverage here.