Washington
Capitals
29-41-12
Pittsburgh
Penguins
22-46-14

30 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
PIT
game recap

Penguins 8, Capitals 1

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:21 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 8, Capitals 1
Washington Capitals 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 8

PITTSBURGH (AP) - When Mario Lemieux retired Tuesday, he remarked how the NHL was in good shape with so many talented young players - particularly on his team, one that is stacked with rookies.

But the Pittsburgh Penguins' remaining veterans aren't ready to pass the torch just yet.

On a night billed as a showdown between top rookies Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, 37-year-old Mark Recchi and 36-year-old John LeClair each had two goals to lead the Penguins to a 8-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

Pittsburgh used a five-goal third-period to help break a 10-game losing streak.

"We did a lot of good things tonight," LeClair said. "We did some things right like make the passes and take all the bounces our way. Getting the bounces was the big key tonight."

Crosby got the better of Ovechkin individually, too. He had a goal and three assists, while Ovechkin had the lone Washington goal.

"It was just the matter of taking advantage of our chances and making things happen," Crosby said. "When we move the puck good things happen. It's not like we haven't been doing that in the past. It's just that they haven't been going in. It was nice to see them go in tonight."

Ovechkin also was at the center of mini-controversy. Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Whitney received a spearing major and a game misconduct as time expired in the second period for shoving his stick into what appeared to be Ovechkin's mid-section.

The 20-year-old laid on the ice for several minutes after the hit while Whitney fought Brian Willsie and the officials handed out penalties. But Ovechkin returned for the third period.

"I don't know if its cheap shot or not," Washington defenseman Brendan Witt said. "We'll have to see the replay. Ovi's a tough kid. It takes a lot to get him down. If it's a cheap shot, we play them on the 11th (of February)."

Ovechkin declined to speak with reporters after the game.

The Penguins produced a video tribute to Lemieux and showed it on the jumbotron during the first media stoppage in play. Fans stood and clapped and the cheers became louder when Lemieux and his wife, Nathalie, were shown on the scoreboard from their luxury box.

That compelled players from both teams and the officials to join in the prolonged applause. From that point on, any time the Lemieuxs were shown on the screen, they received a small ovation. Once, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was shown sitting next to Lemieux.

"(Mario) is gone and he will be missed," Crosby said. "You never can replace him or fill in his shoes. Now there are a lot of us young guys who have to step up."

Wednesday, it was the Penguins' old guys who gave them a 4-1 lead. LeClair opened the scoring with 3:05 to play in the first on a pass from Michel Ouellet.

After Ovechkin tied the game at 1 with a power-play goal, his 34th, Crosby set up Recchi for two second-period power-play goals. Both came while Crosby faked a shot from the point and passed the puck to the opposite circle to Recchi, who one-timed shots past Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig.

"The power play really clicked tonight," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said.

LeClair made it 4-1 while on a four-on-three a minute into the third when he deflected home a Recchi shot. Crosby scored his 24th goal in the third by beating Kolzig while alone in the slot.

Ryan Malone closed out the scoring with a penalty-shot goal with 4:26 to play while the Penguins were killing a penalty.

"It was just a matter of time," Malone said. "We've been playing a lot better lately. We have all definitely seen improvement. Now we have to move forward with this win."

It was the largest margin of victory on the season for the last-place Penguins, who hadn't won since a 6-4 triumph in Montreal on Jan. 3. Only two of their 11 victories before Wednesday were by more than two goals.

"It's always frustrating when you lose that many in a row," Crosby said. "It shows a lot about us. We all believe that if we kept working the way we would it wouldn't take us long to put it all together."

Notes: Beyond the extended video tribute for Lemieux, small taped highlights and tributes from athletes and media members were displayed during several other stoppages in play. ... Pittsburgh is 12-2-0 at home against the Capitals since the 1998-99 season. ... The Capitals had won four of their last five.

scoring summary
1st Period
16:55
PIT
John Leclair (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Michel Ouellet (8), Ryan Whitney (15)
1 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
05:22
WSH
PPG - Alex Ovechkin (34) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Willsie (12), Dainius Zubrus (15)
1 - 1 Tie
08:33
PIT
PPG - Mark Recchi (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (32), Sergei Gonchar (18)
2 - 1 PIT
15:19
PIT
PPG - Mark Recchi (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (33), Sergei Gonchar (19)
3 - 1 PIT
3rd Period
01:04
PIT
PPG - John Leclair (9) Tip-in - ASST: Mark Recchi (25), Sergei Gonchar (20)
4 - 1 PIT
09:29
PIT
Tomas Surovy (7) Snap shot - ASST: Colby Armstrong (5), Sidney Crosby (34)
5 - 1 PIT
12:17
PIT
Sidney Crosby (24) Wrist shot - ASST: Colby Armstrong (6), Eric Boguniecki (5)
6 - 1 PIT
12:36
PIT
Eric Boguniecki (2) Wrist shot - ASST: John Leclair (16), Maxime Talbot (3)
7 - 1 PIT
15:34
PIT
SHG - PS - Ryan Malone (11) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
8 - 1 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
05:33
PIT
Mark Recchi  Slashing against  Dainius Zubrus
09:04
WSH
Nolan Yonkman  Interference against  Maxime Talbot
14:18
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Hooking against  Jeff Friesen
14:29
WSH
Dainius Zubrus  Tripping against  Ryan Whitney
18:30
PIT
Colby Armstrong  Hi-sticking against  Boyd Gordon
18:30
PIT
Colby Armstrong  Hi-sticking against  Boyd Gordon
2nd Period
03:21
PIT
Josef Melichar  Hooking against  Jeff Friesen
05:01
PIT
Mark Recchi  Hooking against  Dainius Zubrus
07:19
WSH
Mathieu Biron  Tripping against  Konstantin Koltsov
08:57
PIT
Eric Boguniecki  Boarding against  Brooks Laich
11:19
WSH
Brendan Witt  Holding against  Sidney Crosby
14:09
WSH
Nolan Yonkman  Holding against  Guillaume Lefebvre
20:00
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Fighting (maj) against  Brian Willsie
20:00
WSH
Brian Willsie  Misconduct (10 min)
20:00
WSH
Brian Willsie  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan Whitney
20:00
WSH
Brian Willsie  Instigator against  Ryan Whitney
20:00
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Game misconduct
20:00
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Spearing (maj) against  Alex Ovechkin
3rd Period
00:25
WSH
Shaone Morrisonn  Hooking against  Tomas Surovy
06:07
WSH
Brian Sutherby  Slashing against  Sidney Crosby
09:53
PIT
Eric Boguniecki  Interference against  Boyd Gordon
13:21
PIT
Ryan Malone  Holding against  Brooks Laich
14:29
PIT
Shane Endicott  Hooking
goalie stats
Olie Kolzig
SA: 37TOI: 59:57
Saves: 29EV: 19 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 10
SV%: .784SH: 3 - 4
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 29EV: 12 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 16 - 17
SV%: .967SH: 1 - 1