Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta helped the Penguins break the record
for consecutive home victories Wednesday night when his goal with
1:54 remaining lifted them to a 4-3 win over the Washington
It was the Penguins' 13th win in a row at their 4-year-old building,
besting the record set last season from Feb. 22-March 30.
"It's a substantial number of wins," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
"It showed again tonight that it's tough to play in our building. We
got down a few time we fought right back and got a great win."
The Penguins have solo out every game since moving from Mellon
"It's just a great place to play," Penguins left winger Jussi
Jokinen said. "The atmosphere is always good. We feel like we have a
great home-ice advantage here. We feel like we're always going to
Maatta scored his fourth goal on a wrist shot from the left circle
on a pass from center Evgeni Malkin. The 19-year-old Maatta also had
an assist for Pittsburgh (34-12-2).
"It was a great pass from (Malkin) and it gave me a good angle to
shoot from," Maatta said. "The guys in front me did a good job of
screening (goaltender Michal Neuvirth) so he didn't get a good
Maatta will play for Finland along with Jokinen next month at the
Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
"Olli plays with so much poise and so much composure for someone his
age," Bylsma said.
Jokinen had a goal and an assist and defenseman Kris Letang and left
wingers Taylor Pyatt also scored for the Penguins, who won five of
their last six games overall.
Capitals right winger Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 34th goal
while center Brooks Laich and left winger Jason Chimera also added
goals. Center Marcus Johansson assisted on two of the scores for
Washington (22-17-8), which lost for the seventh time in its last
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for his fifth
straight win. Neuvirth stopped 33 shots.
The Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins won their sixth straight
game against their division rivals after both teams scored goals in
four-on-four situations earlier in the third period.
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Jokinen tied it at 3 with 8:25 remaining with his 13th goal,
scoring from point-blank range off a backhanded pass from center
Ovechkin had put the Capitals in front 3-2 three minutes earlier
when he scored in the crease on a pass from Johannson. Ovechkin
has scored a goal in six straight games at Consol Energy Center.
"It's a tough loss, obviously, and is kind of a disappointing
moment," Ovechkin said. "We played good, solid hockey, but their
team has experience and they scored two goals in less than three
minutes. It's kind of hard (to take) because I think we played
The Penguins scored twice in the second period to tie the game
at 2 after failing to score on 17 shots on goal in the first
period when the Capitals took a 1-0 lead.
Letang knotted the score at 1 at 9:53 with his ninth goal.
Chimera then scored his ninth goal at 14:31 to put the Capitals
The Penguins tied it again at 16:08 when Pyatt converted his
first goal in his 28th game of the season.
Laich opened the scoring with a short-handed goal at 15:09 of
the first period.
"They're our rival," Laich said. "A lot of distaste with our
group and theirs. We knew coming in that it was going to be an
intense, emotional game. For the most part it was. It was a
tough one. I'm not sure what happened on the last goal, but it's
a tough one to give up."
NOTES: Penguins LW James Neal, who has 14 points in his last
eight games, was scratched because of an upper-body injury and
RW Chuck Kobasew sat out with a lower-body injury. ... With the
Capitals playing on the second of back-to-back nights, rookie G
Philipp Grubauer was a healthy scratch despite allowing a
combined two goals on 59 shots in regulation and overtime in
Washington's previous two games, both 2-1 shootout losses. ...
The Penguins recalled RW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond from
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, where he had one goal, one
assist and 137 penalty minutes in 31 games. ... Capitals RW Joel
Ward played in his 400th career NHL game.
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