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Capitals Can’t Contain Evgeni Malkin, Get Shutout By Penguins



Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) scores in the second period of an opening night NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Spencer Carbery has officially joined the list of Washington Capitals head coaches to be terrorized by Evgeni Malkin.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ 37-year-old center, who tallied the team’s first goal before assisting on the final three, was the major catalyst to the Penguins’ 4-0 win Friday, forcing Carbery to wait for his first win as an NHL head coach.

Malkin pushed the puck past Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren four minutes into the second period, giving the Penguins the initial lead after a back-and-forth first period. Within minutes, he assisted on two Sidney Crosby goals — putting the Capitals away before they had much of any chance to fight back.

“They kind of took it to us for sure the first half of that second period,” Lindgren said. “They were coming at us pretty hard and fast and they capitalized on a couple power plays. You get down 3-0 pretty quick — in a matter of minutes — (and) it’s tough to battle back.”

Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals’ own all-timer, had four chances of his own throughout the night, but could not outsmart Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry. And with the Penguins dominating in the shots on goal battle, Ovechkin’s lack of success was surely felt.

The Capitals, who mustered only 18 shots on goal by night’s end, failed to drum up anything offensively, even with multiple power play opportunities. The third period’s closest scoring chance came when a centering pass from Lucas Johansen bounced off the skate of Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and toward the team’s net, with Jarry falling on the puck in the crease.

Penguins winger Reilly Smith found the net with three minutes remaining in the third period, ultimately cementing the team’s shutout win.


Lindgren started in net for the Capitals after Darcy Kuemper, who’s wife went into labor Thursday night, was ruled out. Outside of the four goals surrendered, Lindgren ended the night with 31 saves.


Four Capitals served stints in the penalty box Friday: Ovechkin, for slashing; Trevor van Riemsdyk, for hooking; Martin Fehervary, for roughing; and Rasmus Sandin, for slashing. Each was a two minute minor.


The Capitals host the Calgary Flames (1-0-0) on Monday. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.