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National Hockey League
Pittsburgh 5, Washington 4
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 29, 2021
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Pierre Lambert, Francois St. Laurent
Linesmen: Matt MacPherson, Jesse Marquis
Attendance: 2133

Jake Guentzel scored 2:11 into overtime and gave the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals Thursday night as both East Division rivals earned playoff berths.

The two teams now are tied for first place with 69 points. Both teams claimed their postseason spots combined with the fifth-place New York Rangers' 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders Thursday. For the Penguins, it marks their 15th consecutive playoff berth -- the longest active streak in North American sports leagues.

Washington (32-13-5) sent the game into overtime on a Tom Wilson goal with 14.3 seconds left before Guentzel redirected a John Marino pass by goalie Vitek Vanecek to give Pittsburgh (33-15-3) the victory.

Injuries affected both teams in this one. Washington's Alex Ovechkin missed his third straight game due to a lower-body injury while teammate John Carlson -- the team's top defenseman -- also was out with a lower-body problem suffered late in the team's win over the Islanders Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh once again went without Evgeni Malkin. He's been out for 22 straight games (lower body) while Brandon Tanev sat out a 13th consecutive contest due to an upper-body injury.

T.J. Oshie gave the Capitals the early lead when he redirected a Justin Schultz shot past goalie Tristan Jarry at 7:27 of the opening period. Oshie quickly got his stick in the air after Schultz fired, and that gave Washington a power-play goal.

But a rare defensive mistake from Nicklas Backstrom helped the Penguins tie the game. Kasperi Kapanen intercepted a Backstrom pass between the circles and beat Vanecek on a quick shot with 4:33 remaining in the period.

Both teams scored twice in the second period. Frederick Gaudreau gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead 8:32 into the period before Dmitry Orlov tied it with a slap shot 30 seconds later.

Washington made it 3-2 when Daniel Sprong redirected a Schultz shot from the doorstep with 4:53 left in the period. But Pittsburgh tied it when the Caps again turned it over in their own zone, and Colton Sceviour fed Zach Aston-Reese, who slid a shot past Vanecek with 1:49 remaining.

It stayed that way until Kapanen ripped a shot that beat Vanecek to the short side for a 4-3 lead with 9:05 remaining. Then, Wilson scored late to set up the overtime.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Pittsburgh   Washington
Kasperi Kapanen 2 Points Nicklas Backstrom 3
Kasperi Kapanen 2 Goals Dmitry Orlov 1
Jared McCann 2 Assists Nicklas Backstrom 3
N/A Power Play Goals T.J. Oshie 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Tristan Jarry .892 Save Percentage Vitek Vanecek .857
Tristan Jarry 33 Saves Vitek Vanecek 30
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Pittsburgh 35 5 0-3 2-3 6 38
Washington 37 4 1-3 3-3 6 37
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game at home against Pittsburgh. The Capitals have a W/L % of .625 after a win and .647 after a loss.
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Penguins have a W/L % of .625 after a win and .722 after a loss.