Capitals drop Game 1 to Penguins in NHL 20 simulation

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals struck first but Pittsburgh responded with four unanswered goals.

After downing the Buffalo Sabres in six games our NHL 20 simulation Washington Capitals went up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a highly anticipated second round rematch.

The Penguins, hungry for revenge after Evgeny Kuznetsov ended their season on home ice a few years ago, were determined to come out of D.C.  with at least one win and that’s exactly what they did.

The Capitals and Penguins played a rather clean first period with no penalties and nobody scoring. The Penguins outshot the Caps 12-7 in the opening 20 minutes.

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Both teams traded goals in the second period. 39 seconds in, Dmitry Orlov was called for a hooking minor. The Caps would kill the penalty. Shortly after the kill at 4:44 a snipe from Jakub Vrana put the home squad up 1-0. Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom were credited with the assists.

At 17:47 a downtown blast from Marcus Pettersson tied the game. Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin had the helpers. 1-1 was the score after two periods. The Pens outshot the Caps 12-9 in the second period and had the edge 24-16 overall.

The Penguins took the lead at 7:51 in the third period on a goal from Zach Aston-Reese. Justin Schultz and Kris Letang had the assists. At 13:02, Dominik Kahun added to the lead with assists coming from Marcus Pettersson and Patric Hornqvist.

At 16:09 Alex Ovechkin was whistled for a hooking minor and the Penguins struck on the power play with a goal from Nick Bjugstad. Brian Rust and Sidney Crosby had the helpers.

That would round out the scoring as the Penguins took Game 1 of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs by a final of 4-1. The Caps actually outshot the Penguins in the third period 10-8 but were outshot overall 32-26. Braden Holtby made 28 saves on 32 shots for a .875 save percentage.

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Can the Caps bounce back in Game 2? Check back here tomorrow to find out.