Pens beat Cap­i­tals

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Stephen WHYNO

WASHINGTON — Pa­tric Horn­qvist went right back to the net where he feels most com­fort­able and was in his el­e­ment once again.

Horn­qvist scored a pow­er­play goal and as­sisted on another in his sea­son de­but to help the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins beat the Washington Cap­i­tals 3-2 on Wed­nes­day night in their first meet­ing since the playoffs. The Swedish for­ward who scored the Stan­ley Cup­clinch­ing goal de­spite a bro­ken fin­ger and needed surgery to re­pair it, was on the ice for all three Pitts­burgh power-play goals, nat­u­rally crash­ing the crease on each oc­ca­sion as he’s ac­cus­tomed to do­ing.

“That’s usu­ally where I end up be­ing and where I get my points and like to be,” Horn­qvist said. “You have to play games to get bet­ter, and it was good to get the win and it was fun to be back out there.”

Horn­qvist as­sisted on a goal by Kris Le­tang, the de­fence­man’s first since Feb. 4 af­ter miss­ing the end of last sea­son and playoffs be­cause of neck surgery. He was also right there for Conor Sheary’s goal as Pitts­burgh went 3 for 6 on the power play.

Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-lead­ing eighth goal of the sea­son in the Cap­i­tals’ fourth game. His goal with 7:09 in the third pe­riod made things in­ter­est­ing, but Washington’s sea­son-high six mi­nor penal­ties dug too deep a hole as a third of the game was played on spe­cial teams.

“It re­ally didn’t al­low our top play­ers to get go­ing,” coach Barry Trotz said. “Ev­ery time we started get­ting any rhythm, we’d get a penalty.”

Chris­tian Djoos as­sisted on Ovechkin’s goal and scored in his NHL de­but to be­come the third de­fence­man in Cap­i­tals fran­chise his­tory to score in his de­but af­ter Steve Poapst and Hall of Famer Scott Stevens.

“First game in the NHL, and you get a goal and an as­sist,” Djoos said. “That wasn’t my plan re­ally when I showed up at the rink.”

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