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Penguins barely stop Capitals, 2-1

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Defenseman Matt Niskanen scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Sidney Crosby had two assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

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Niskanen's goal at 11:58 came nine seconds after the Penguins killed a four-minute penalty in the third period.

The winning streak is the longest of the season for the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins and the second-longest in the NHL this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and Crosby picked up his NHL-leading 36th and 37th assists for the Penguins, who were without reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) for the sixth game in a row. The Penguins were also without defenseman Kris Letang (lower body injury).

Braden Holtby made 34 saves for Washington.

With the score tied at 1-1, Penguins left wing Matt Cooke received two minutes for boarding Alex Ovechkin and two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct at 7:49. The first two minutes went by without a shot on goal by Washington. Fleury made a glove save on winger Eric Fehr and a kick save on Ovechkin and the Capitals did not get another shot before the power play expired.

Both teams picked up a power-play goal in the second period.

Washington took a 1-0 lead when Ovechkin one-timed a bouncing puck past Fleury for his 12th goal of the season at 8:14.

Pittsburgh tied the game three minutes later when Paul Martin scored his sixth goal of the season, a rising one-timer from the point that sailed into the top right corner of the net.

It was the Penguins' seventh shot of the power play and 21st of the game. It was the Penguins' league-leading 28th goal on the advantage this season.

NOTES: Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin has missed six consecutive games since taking a hit from Toronto LW James van Riemsdyk on March 9. Malkin hopes to be ready to play Friday at the New York Islanders. ... Pittsburgh D Kris Letang was injured during Sunday's win over Boston. ... The game marked the start of a season-long, four-game road trip for the Capitals. It was also the third and final meeting between the rivals this season. ... Washington D Dmitri Orlov made his season debut. ... Washington was without defensemen Tom Poti, who was injured Sunday, as well as Mike Green, John Erskine and Tomas Kundratek. ... The Capitals are 4-9-1 on the road with all four wins against the Southeast Conference.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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