The Pittsburgh Penguins stayed atop the Eastern Conference and pushed their winning streak to ten games by beating the Washington Capitals 2-1 Tuesday night.
Receiving goals from two defenseman, Paul Martin tied the score up 1-1 11:07 into the second period and Matt Niskanen won it with 8:02 left in the game.
Having not lost yet during the month of March, Pittsburgh now shows off a record of 23-8-0, which translates to 46 points and first place in the East.
Marc-Andre Fleury continues to make his case for the Vezina trophy as he helped pushed the team to victory by stopping 28 of 29 shots.
He leads all goaltenders in wins with 16 and now has a 2.38 goals against average with a .912 save percentage on the year.
We can’t go a game without talking about Sidney Crosby though.
On the night, the captain assisted on both goals for Pittsburgh improving his points total to 50 (13G, 37A) and he continues to top the NHL in the category.
Crosby seems to put on a show every night for the Pens. And when he doesn’t, you can still count on him to make an impact regardless of the outcome.
There’s no denying his Hart trophy play, and Pittsburgh’s thriving because of it.
The other players to record points were forwards Beau Bennett and Matt Cooke. Bennett assisted on Martin’s second period tally, while Cooke made up for an earlier penalty by feeding Niskanen’s game-winning goal.
The team played once again without superstar forward Evgeni Malkin and Norris trophy candidate Kris Letang.
Malkin told the media recently that he’s been feeling better and there’s a chance he could suit up against the New York Islanders on Friday.
Having said that, don’t be surprised if the Pens hold him out for one more contest, considering their current hot streak.
On the season, Malkin has 24 points (5G, 19A) in 21 contests.
Letang has been shelved with what is being called a lower-body injury, but speculation leads us to believe he re-aggravated a groin injury that sidelined him earlier this season.
The smooth-skating 25-year-old defensive dynamo has yet to return to game-action, and the team is being vague on his status for forthcoming contests as well, so it’s a day-to-day prognosis for Letang.
On the season, Letang is leading all NHL defenseman with 28 points (3G, 25A) in 27 games thus far.
We should receive an update on both Malkin and Letang’s statuses prior to game-time Friday, but Malkin’s chances of playing are greater than that of Letang’s.
Pens go for 11 straight against the Isles in Long Island Friday at 7 p.m.