Penguins gain on Capitals, wild card hunt with win in DC

Another bad night for Washington
Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals fell 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a big win for the Penguins. How big will this loss be for the Caps? Whether we like it or not we will find out very soon.

Ryan Shea struck first at 1:49. Pierre Olivier Joseph doubled the lead at 11:03. Michael Bunting made it 3-0 at 9:08 in the second period. The Caps led in shots 9-6 in the first period while they were outshot 10-5 in the second

In the third Alex Ovechkin got the Caps on the board with a power play goal at 6:02. The goal was assisted by Sonny Milano and Hendrix Lapierre. It was Ovechkin's 27th goal of the season and the 849th of his career, putting him 45 away from Wayne Gretzky.

Former Cap Lars Eller got the empty net goal to seal the win and send the fans wearing black and gold home happy, except for those in black sweaters with a capital dome or a screaming eagle on it.

The Caps outshot the Penguins 17-8 in the final period and 31-24 overall. The shots just simply weren't going in. The Caps went one for four on the man advantage while the Caps penalty kill stopped all four Penguins power plays.

The Caps are now bumped out of their second wild card spot and now occupy third. Their record falls to 36-29-10 and the Penguins are just TWO points behind the New York Islanders for that second wild card spot while the Caps are one point back.

The Flyers, like the Islanders, have 83 points. Unlike the Islanders they are in that comforatable safety net of third in the Metro Division, a spot still up for grabs among the Caps, Isles, and Pens. The Red Wings don't have that luxury.

The Caps won't have much time to dwell over the loss which is great for the "move on man" crowd. They have to and I repeat HAVE TO beat the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night on the road.