x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Penguins march to victory

Red Wings are beaten despite 46 saves by goaltender Howard as Crosby scores twice to help Pittsburgh win 2-1 in their first meeting since last summer's Stanley Cup.

Crosby fires a shot past the Red Wings goaltender Howard.
Crosby fires a shot past the Red Wings goaltender Howard.

Sidney Crosby scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in their first meeting since last summer's Stanley Cup. The Penguins captain, who led his team to a seven-game victory in last year's final, gave the home team the lead midway through the second period before netting in the shoot-out, as did Evgeni Malkin.

The Sunday night win for the Penguins would have been much easier had it not been for Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 46 saves for the second consecutive game. "We were able to generate a lot of chances," Crosby said. "We deserved to win that in 60 minutes, but they're a veteran team and they know how to win. "And we knew he [Howard] was playing solid, but we never expect any goalie [to hold us] to one goal in 40-some shots."

The Penguins are 7-0 in shoot-outs, while Detroit are 4-6. "I wonder why?" Howard said of Pittsburgh's shoot-out success. "They got Malkin and Crosby. "I mean, Crosby knocked the water bottle out of the sleeve [on top of the net], it was such a backhand. Malkin, he just came in and started stick handling. There's not much you can do there." Alex Ovechkin scored with less than seven minutes left as the Washington Capitals equalled a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.

The reigning two-time league Most Valuable Player slid on one knee and into the boards to celebrate his 35th goal of the season as the Capitals bounced back from losing a 2-0 lead. "It was a quiet game," Bruce Boudreau, the Washington coach said. "Once they got the two goals, it got everybody's blood going again. Ovie, you could feel on that shift that he sort of just said, 'OK, it's time I did something'."

Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich also scored for Washington, whose winning streak matches the team mark set 26 years ago. Wayne Simmonds and Drew Doughty scored in the final 1:46 to give the Los Angeles Kings a thrilling 3-2 win at New Jersey. Simmonds equalised with a long backhander before Doughty netted the winner on a power play with 27.3 seconds left. The win was Los Angeles' sixth in a row and saw them finish a road trip 5-0 for the first time in the team's history.

"This game was a real good look at the kind of team we are starting to become, a lot of character, big heart, never gave up," said LA coach Terry Murray. "It looked at times it was slipping on us, but to dig in the third period and find a way to get it done is tremendous." * With agencies