Tom Wilson's late goal forces OT as Caps gain a point in loss to Penguins

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J.J. Regan
·2 min read
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Caps force OT, keep share of first place in loss to Penguins originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tom Wilson tied the game with 15 seconds left in regulation, but Jake Guentzel scored the overtime winner to give the Pittsburgh Penguins the 5-4 overtime win over the Capitals on Thursday. Washington earned a point in the loss, meaning the Caps and Penguins now sit tied for first in the East with 69 points apiece, five ahead of the New York Islanders. And by gaining a point as the Rangers lost in regulation Thursday, the Caps also clinched their playoff berth.

Here is how the loss happened.

Turnovers

Turnovers prevented Washington from taking control of the game as the Caps gifted chances to the Penguins.

Nicklas Backstrom made a very rare gaffe as he tried a cross-ice pass in the defensive zone in the first period that was knocked out of the air by Kasperi Kapanen who fired a quick shot to beat Vitek Vanecek. In the second period, a chip up the boards in the defensive zone by Justin Schultz went to Tom Wilson as he was pressured on the wall. He tried a backhand pass to Evgeny Kuznetsov to start the breakout, but Colton Sceviour scooped up the loose puck and fed Zach Aston-Reese who was all alone in front. He beat Vanecek to the five-hole.

The goal that put Pittsburgh up 4-3 in the third period came as a result of an offensive zone turnover as a Wilson pass was picked off by Mike Matheson and Kapanen would score on the resulting counterattack.

Kasperi Kapanen

In a game in which the Caps managed to hold Sidney Crosby, Guentzel and Kris Letang to zero points through regulation, Kapanen proved to be the hero with two goals for the Penguins. He scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Penguins launched a counter-attack and Kapanen fired a beautiful shot from distance that managed to beat Vanecek high.

Guentzel's overtime winner

Guenztel always seems to have a knack of scoring big goals against the Caps and he was the hero on Friday, erasing the Caps' late comeback.

Washington managed to force overtime as Wilson scored with just 15 seconds remaining, but Guentzel responded 2:11 into overtime, chipping in a pass from John Marino into the top shelf to beat Vanecek and end the game.