WASHINGTON — T.J. Oshie scored with 1:14 remaining in the third period to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.
Oshie took a centering feed from defenseman John Carlson and lifted it over Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith for his eighth of the season.
“I kind of came up and ended up getting lost in the front of the net there,” Oshie said. “[Carlson] made a great pass. I probably didn’t have to put it in that high portion of the net, but it was kind of on end. I’m just glad it stayed low enough.”
[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Capitals highlights]
Oshie’s goal came at the end of his second shift after returning from the locker room; he said he went through the concussion protocol after receiving an illegal check to the head from Penguins center Evgeni Malkin at 3:27 of the third period. Malkin received a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.
Oshie also briefly left in the first period after taking a high stick from Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta, which opened a cut by his left eye that required two stitches.
“My face is a little messed up, but I’m feeling pretty good now,” Oshie said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had one like that, but it was nice to get back out there both times. I have to throw a shoutout to the training staff and the doctors both times; they did a good job making sure I was OK. And I probably would’ve came out a lot sooner, but they wanted [me] to be 100 percent.”
The Capitals weren’t sure if Oshie would be able to come back after Malkin’s hit.
“He came back right on time,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “That’s what elite players do; they come back. They score the game-winner.”
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 41 saves to end a personal three-game losing streak (0-2-1).
Washington (7-4-3) has won two in a row for the first time this season following a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored the 235th power-play goal of his career, moving ahead of Marcel Dionne for eighth place in NHL history. It was Ovechkin’s 12th goal of the season, tying Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the League lead.
Sidney Crosby scored and DeSmith made 20 saves for Pittsburgh (6-5-3), which lost its fifth straight (0-4-1) despite outshooting Washington 42-22.
“Sometimes that happens,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “You play well and you don’t get the result, but we’ve just got to build on it. That’s what I told our guys after the game.”
Crosby’s power-play goal at 12:15 of the first period gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. After Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over into the left face-off circle, Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson passed across to Crosby for a quick shot from the bottom of the right circle that beat Holtby to the short side. It was Crosby’s seventh goal of the season.
Ovechkin tied the game 1-1 with his power-play goal at 7:09 of the second period. Carlson fed Ovechkin for a one-timer from the left circle that went in over DeSmith’s right shoulder.
The Capitals were also grateful to Holtby, who kept them in position to win despite being outshot 16-5 in the third period.
“He had a great game obviously,” Backstrom said. “He kept us in there.”
Holtby’s best saves included a blocker stop against Penguins forward Garrett Wilson on a breakaway 10:03 into the third period and a glove save on right wing Phil Kessel from the right circle with 4:26 remaining.
“We had some good chances,” said Crosby, who had a game-high eight shots on goal. “We hit some posts, pucks laying around that we couldn’t put in. But on the ones that we had some really good looks on, [Holtby] made some saves.”
They said it
“I thought we were better in all areas. I thought we played with way more urgency. I thought we won puck battles. I thought we stopped on pucks. We got the puck to the net, we went to the net. We were better in so many areas.” — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan
“We’re getting closer. We’re recognizing it more and more. We played a really strong game [against] Edmonton, and tonight I think we had the right mindset going in. I thought Pittsburgh played really well. They were on a mission to put in a good effort.” — Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby
Need to know
Washington went 1-for-6 on the power play; Pittsburgh went 1-for-3. … It was the ninth time in 47 games against each other that Ovechkin (13 goals, three assists) and Crosby (10 goals, nine assists) scored in the same game. … Ovechkin trails former Penguins center Mario Lemieux (236) by one power-play goal for seventh in NHL history and most with one team. … Carlson played a game-high 28:17. … It’s the first time the Penguins have lost five in a row since Dec. 11-19, 2015 (0-4-1).
Penguins: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)
Capitals: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, NBCSWA, FS-O, NHL.TV)