Orlov lifts Capitals over Penguins in 4-3 OT win

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins played in a wild affair Tuesday in Pittsburgh with seven total power plays and an overtime winner from Dmitry Orlov.

With a 4-3 win, the Capitals are now 25-12-9 on the season with just one game left before the All-Star Break. 

Here are a few takeaways from a wild night in Pittsburgh: 

Orlov gets the winner

Orlov's overtime winner couldn't have come at a better time or in a better game. 

His tally gave the Capitals another win in overtime (they are now 3-7 in three-on-three this season) in a game where the Penguins felt to be a bounce or two from breaking the game open. 

The shot into the top left corner of the net gave Orlov his second goal of the night.

Penalty kill problems

The Capitals had a problem taking too many penalties Tuesday night. That turned into a penalty kill problem, too. 

The Penguins went 3-for-5 on the man advantage as the Capitals, despite tallying a shorthanded goal, were dominated while they were shorthanded. Pittsburgh had 13 shots in 7:47 of power play time, as its man-advantage seemingly could do no wrong. 

On the other end of the ice, the Capitals answered with a power play tally of their own, but the victor of the special teams battle Tuesday was clearly the Penguins.

A disallowed goal?

The Capitals thought they’d tied the game in the second period with Nic Dowd’s second goal of the night. The referees had other ideas. 

The goal was disallowed due to the ruling of a player impacting a goalie’s chance, by positioning or contact, to play the position and move freely. 


Coach Peter Laviolette was heated on the bench at the disallowed goal, but to no avail as the controversial wave-off stood. 

Vitek Vanecek pulled due to injury

The Capitals’ problems in net started early, as Vitek Vanecek played just 6:43 before being pulled due to an upper-body injury. The team later confirmed he would miss the remainder of the game. 

Ilya Samsonov filled in for Vanecek and played the rest of the night. He stopped 43 shots of the 45 sent his way, and all 33 even strength shots, to keep the Capitals in the game. 

If Vanecek is unable to be ready for Wednesday’s game against the Oilers, the Capitals have Hunter Shepard on the taxi squad and Zach Fucale in AHL Hershey. 

Nick Jensen returns

The Capitals got some welcome news on the blue line as Nick Jensen returned to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury. 

After his activation off of injured reserve, he played 17:14 in his first game action since Jan. 20. 

His activation allowed the Capitals to get their full defense pairings back, which they certainly needed against a high-flying Penguins attack.