Capitals start 2024 with W over Penguins

The Washington Capitals started out the New Year in the best way possible, downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 behind what was their best start to a game this season.
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ding dong the Washington Caiptals four game losing streak is dead. What a way to start the 2024 part of the schdule and the Caps survived a 4-3 win over their rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins thanks to their best start to a game this season.

Tom Wilson got the boobirds going early with his 11th goal of the season 55 seconds into the game. Rasmus Sandin and new defenseman Ethan Bear had the assists.

At 11:16 Beck Malenstyn struck for his fourth goal of the season with Nic Dowd setting him up. Martin Fehervary made it 3-0 with his second goal of the season with Dylan Strome and Hendrix Lapierre providing the apples.

The Caps then got on the power play and in front of a national TV audience Alex Ovechkin made the subscriptions worth it with his eigthh goal of the season. It came in the McNugget Minute at 19:18. Sandin and Anthony Mantha had the assists.

With four seconds to go in the first period Rickard Rakell put the Penguins on the board. 4-1 Caps was the score after one with the Caps leading in shots 11-6.

At 9:11 of the second period Sidney Crosby had a power play goal of his own marking the first time in five seasons Crosby and Ovechkin scored in the same game. Jake Guentzel made it a one goal game at 18:54.

The Penguins outshot the Caps 16-8 in the second period and 13-3 in the third period, outshooting them 35-22 overall. Darcy Kuemper got the nod in goal for the Capitals with Charlie Lindgren day to day and Hunter Shepard backing up. Kuemper finished with 32 saves.

With the win the Caps are now ahead of the Penguins by two points in the Metropolitan Divison and Wild Card standings. The Caps sit fifth in the Metro and are in that second and final playoff spot with the win.