Alex Ovechkin, Jakub Vrana, Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom each scored as the Washington Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference second-round series Sunday afternoon in Washington.
The series now shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 Tuesday night, tied at 1-1. Pittsburgh won Game 1 on Thursday in Washington.
The Penguins have won seven consecutive playoff series versus the Capitals and nine of 10 overall.
The Capitals took a 2-0 lead into the third period of Game 1 and could not hold it. They went up 3-0 in the second period of this game, this time closing the deal.
Lars Eller also helped Washington with three assists.
Pittsburgh was missing top offensive threat Evgeni Malkin (lower body injury). Carl Hagelin also sat out (upper body injury) as both have missed the first two games of the series.
The Caps took a quick 1-0 lead when Ovechkin scored an unassisted goal on a wrist shot just 1:26 into the game. He grabbed a loose puck between the circles and fired a shot over goalie Matt Murray’s glove.
Vrana made it 2-0 on a power-play goal with 5:06 left in the first period. He took a quick pass from Eller and beat Murray (28 saves) on the short side from in close. Goalie Braden Holtby (32 saves) got the second assist on the play, after making a long pass that sprung Eller in the neutral zone. Pittsburgh challenged the goal, but it stood up after further review.
The Capitals got help from everyone on offense in that first period and finished it with 20 shots on goal plus numerous good scoring chances.
The Caps stretched the lead to 3-0 when Connolly scored on a breakaway 2:08 into the second period.
Kris Letang cut the lead to two for the Penguins on a shot that made its way through traffic and past Holtby with 6:56 left in the period.
Pittsburgh nearly scored a second goal midway through the third period on a Patric Hornqvist shot from in front. The play was reviewed for several minutes before the officials ruled it was not a goal.
Backstrom then added an empty-net goal with seven seconds left.
—Field Level Media