Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Everybody Gets into the Act Malkin Triggers 5-Goal Outburst in 2nd Period; Power Play Goes 3 for 4 in Romp

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Everybody Gets into the Act Malkin Triggers 5-Goal Outburst in 2nd Period; Power Play Goes 3 for 4 in Romp

Article excerpt

It's easy to forget that the Penguins trailed for nearly 23 minutes in this game.

That for a significant chunk of the evening, Washington looked like a viable threat to win for the 10th time in its past 11 visits here.

All of which is evidence that seeing a team score five times in less than 13 minutes -- and make it look almost effortless -- can inspire a bit of amnesia.

Certainly, there's no question the Washington Capitals would rather not remember what the Penguins did to them in the second period of a 5-2 victory Thursday night at Consol Energy Center.

And even if the Capitals tried, most probably couldn't have recalled their previous loss in regulation here, given that it happened way on Feb. 18, 2007.

Still, these are not the Capitals who have ranked among the Eastern Conference's best teams in recent years. Rather, these are the Capitals who own the worst record in the NHL (2-8-1) and who looked the part while the Penguins were performing that second- period vivisection.

The Penguins, meanwhile, looked very much like a team that has won five games in a row and that hurdled Boston for first place in the East by raising its record to 8-3. Especially in the middle period, when they scored almost at will.

"Especially to be at home, to be putting goals in like that and capitalizing, it's a lot of fun," said center Sidney Crosby, who finished with a goal and two assists. "You could feel the energy in the building, and guys were really working off of that.

"Every line was hopping over there expecting to create a chance and make something happen. It was nice to see everyone get rewarded like that."

Second-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis chased Capitals starter Michal Neuvirth from the game, and goals by James Neal, Matt Cooke and Crosby likely made his replacement, Braden Holtby, wish that coach Adam Oates could have yanked him, too.

The Penguins were surprised by Washington's goalie switch -- "I don't think they were bad goals [against Neuvirth], by any means," Neal said -- but Oates felt it was necessary.

"I just thought they were goals that deflated us," he said. "Looking at them on the tape, definitely one of the goals, I'm sure Michal would have wanted back. …

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