Capitals

Capitals

Eric Fehr scored some memorable goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his nine seasons with the Capitals, including a Winter Classic goal that will live in Washington sports lore.

On Saturday night he delivered a stick to the ribs of Caps fans when he scored the game-winning goal with 4:28 remaining in the third period to give the Penguins a hard-earned 2-1 win in Game 2 of their intensely entertaining second-round playoff series.

Fehr redirected an Evgeni Malkin centering pass over Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby for his second goal of the playoffs and first ever against the Capitals.

The best-of-seven series will shift to Pittsburgh knotted at one win apiece. Games 3 and 4 will take place inside Consol Energy Center on Monday and Wednesday.

The Capitals have an all-time playoff series record of 8-16 when winning Game 1 of a playoff series, by far the worst of any NHL team.

How it happened: The Penguins played with the same pace they established in Game 1 and owned a 14-5 shot advantage in each of the first two periods. They took a 1-0 lead 7:08 into the second period when Nick Bonino won a wall battle with Brooks Orpik and Carl Hagelin outraced Evgeny Kuznetsov to the front of the net for his second goal of the playoffs. Jason Chimera rang a shot off the right post midway through the second period, in which the Caps did not record their first shot until 5:12 remained. The Caps’ penalty kill kept them in the game by shutting down the Penguins five times in the opening two periods. The Caps converted on their second power-play of the night when Marcus Johansson jabbed a John Carlson rebound past Matt Murray with 4:08 gone in the third period. Mike Richards had a golden opportunity to give the Caps the lead but his open shot from the slot sailed wide left with 5:50 remaining. Less than a minute later Evgeni Malkin found Eric Fehr streaking down the slot and hit him with a perfect pass, allowing Fehr to redirect the puck over Braden Holtby (33 saves).

 

Poor Schmitty: Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt had his first career playoff goal taken away from him with 2:02 remaining in the second period when Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for goalie interference. Kuznetsov drove hard to the net and his knee made contact with Murray’s mask just before spinning to dish the puck to Schmidt. Referee Kevin Pollock immediately waved off the goal, indicating he had already called a delayed penalty. Caps coach Barry Trotz banged on the dasher boards to get an explanation but did not receive one until before the start of the third period.

What’s next: The Caps are scheduled to  practice at Kettler on Sunday, then board a flight to Pittsburgh, where they’ll face the Penguins in Game 3 on Monday night at Consol Energy Center.