Bryan Rust on Saturday scored two unassisted goals, Tristan Jarry made 23 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Washington Capitals 3-0 to reclaim first place in the East Division.
Trade deadline pickup Jeff Carter also scored his fourth goal in 10 games in a Penguins uniform, while Jarry registered his second shutout of the season as the Penguins beat the Capitals for the sixth time in eight meetings this season.
“We kind of just set a blueprint for ourselves on how we’ve got play to beat this team — things we’ve got to do kind of in the defensive zone, through the offensive zone and I think that’s important moving forward,” said Rust, whose goals were the 99th and 100th of his NHL career.
Two nights after each team clinched a playoff berth, this potential postseason preview looked awfully lopsided. The Penguins pounced on opportunities and scored on three of their first 13 shots against Ilya Samsonov to suck the life out of the crowd of just more than 2,000.
“Obviously, you’re going to have games like this,” Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom said. “They’re a good team. They were playing good defensively. Tough loss.”
It was far from the complement of talent either team would want in a playoff series. The Capitals did not have captain and leading goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin and top defenseman John Carlson because of lower-body injuries, and the Penguins remained without forward Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Tanev with injuries that have kept them out for several weeks.
Still, Pittsburgh has not slowed down. With captain Sidney Crosby inching into the MVP discussion, the Penguins have won 16 of 23 games without Malkin and again look like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
“It’s just trying to put us in the best possible position come playoff time and I think that’s our mindset,” Jarry said. “We want to do as well as we can in each game and try and finish the season strong and put us in a good position come the time the playoffs start.”
The Capitals did not get the save they needed from Samsonov either when Garnet Hathaway fell down on Rust’s first goal or when Dmitry Orlov could not get back after the puck bounced off him on Rust’s second.
The Penguins had five saves from Jarry during a two-minute span late in the second period when the Capitals were buzzing. Jarry had his left pad on a shot by Anthony Mantha driving to the net and slid over to deny Evgeny Kuznetsov to keep it a shutout.
Pittsburgh went into the season with a goaltending question after trading Matt Murray to the Ottawa Senators and turning the duties over to Jarry and Casey DeSmith.
Now Washington might have a problem in net, since neither Samsonov nor Vitek Vanecek has any playoff experience.
No team since 1945 has won the Cup dressing goalies in the playoffs who combined for fewer than 100 regular-season starts. Samsonov and Vanecek would likely have 77 between them.
The all-English Champions League final might be played in England after Turkey was added to its “red list” of countries where all but essential travel is banned due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Chelsea and Manchester City are due to meet on May 29 in Istanbul and UEFA was hoping to allow about 10,000 fans into the biggest club game of the European soccer season. However, the British government on Friday warned supporters not to travel to Turkey after imposing the new travel restrictions and said that the English Football Association was in talks with Champions League organizer UEFA about staging the game in
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday said that he has never “put the Olympics first,” the same day an opinion poll showed that nearly 60 percent of people in Japan want the Olympics canceled less than three months before they begin. Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of the month and is struggling to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising further questions about whether the Games should go on. Its vaccination rate is the lowest among wealthy nations. International Olympic officials, Tokyo planners and Suga have insisted that the Games would go on in “a
Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) secretary-general Fang Ching-jen yesterday touted the success of the Taiwan Business Bank Taiwan Futsal League after Chiayi Tienching on Sunday displayed their all-conquering form and collected the championship trophy with a 5-2 win over YTFC at the Pingtung County Stadium. Since January, when the season began, Chiayi Tienching scored a perfect 10 wins off 10 games to collect 30 points. Taichung Traveler were second, finishing on 22 points with seven wins, two losses and one draw, while CTFA U20 were third on 17 points with five wins, three losses and two draws. In the season’s final round on
A traveling call against the Knicks’ Julius Randle with seconds to go gave possession to the Lakers, letting Talen Horton-Tucker put up his game-winner Talen Horton-Tucker on Tuesday drained a clutch three-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers snatched a thrilling 101-99 victory over the New York Knicks. Horton-Tucker’s effort with 21.1 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Lakers and prevented the Knicks from clinching their first playoff appearance since 2013. It was the dramatic final act of a pulsating clash at the Staples Center, which saw the Knicks’ Julius Randle, a former Lakers player, dominate for long periods with a 31-point performance. Randle looked to have given the Knicks the edge with a superb three-pointer of his own, which put