Kunitz hat trick sparks Pittsburgh
Crosby adds three assists in win over Caps ASSOCIATED PRESS,
Chris Kunitz scored a hat trick in the Pittsburgh Penguins' Super Bowl Sunday visit to the nation's capital, leading a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals that reflected both teams' fortunes so far in the lockout-shortened season.
Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Matt Cooke also scored, Sidney Crosby had three assists, and Tomas Vokoun made 21 saves against his former team for the Penguins, who have won three straight and four of five to lead the Atlantic Division.
Mike Green, John Carlson and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Capitals -- and Carlson's goal was an accident that took a weird carom off a stanchion along the glass. Two-time league MVP Alex Ovechkin, who said before the game that he was somewhat embarrassed to have only three points on the season, contributed a secondary assist on a third-period power-play goal with Washington trailing by three.
Washington has lost seven of nine games to start the season. Hosting the Penguins as a Super Bowl warm-up for the third straight year, the Capitals no longer look like the formidable team that beat Pittsburgh 5-4 in overtime with a hat trick from Ovechkin in 2010 and shut out the Penguins 3-0 a year ago -- both feisty games that included punches thrown by Ovechkin.
Ovechkin was overly physical in this game as well, getting a roughing call in the final two minutes.
Under new coach Adam Oates, the Capitals are feeling their way around the ice, especially on defense. Braden Holtby stopped only 20 of 26 shots, allowing Letang and Kunitz to beat him glove side 37 seconds apart in the second period to give the Penguins a 4-2 lead.
Vokoun, who shut out the New York Rangers on Thursday, made a successful return to the Verizon Center. He was signed to be the Capitals' No. 1 goalie last season but hurt his groin and was eclipsed by Holtby during the playoffs, prompting Washington to trade him to Pittsburgh.
Martin scored from the point after Crosby won a faceoff in the Capitals' zone to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead in the first period. Washington tied it less than two minutes later after a nice sequence in which Ribeiro won the puck along the boards and passed it to Wojtek Wolski, who then sent it along to a wide-open Green.
After Cooke made it 2-1, Carlson tied it on a bizarre goal in the second period. The Capitals defenseman was merely trying to dump the puck along the boards, but it rose up and took an odd deflection. Vokoun had already started to retreat behind the net to intercept the puck and tripped trying to change direction to get back to the crease.
Panthers 4, Sabres 3: Defenseman Brian Campbell scored on the power play with 10:33 remaining to cap Florida's three-goal rally.
Peter Mueller, George Parros and Shawn Matthias also scored for the Panthers, who won their first road game of the season and snapped a seven-game road winless drought (0-5-2) dating to last season.
Devils 3, Islanders 0: Johan Hedberg made 22 saves for his 22nd career shutout, leading New Jersey to the win .
Steve Bernier scored for New Jersey in the third period and David Clarkson added an empty-netter to help the Devils snap a four-game winless streak (0-1-3).
Canadiens 2, Senators 1: David Desharnais and Erik Cole scored first-period goals and Montreal held on for a victory over Ottawa.
The win completed a sweep of weekend matinees at home for Montreal (6-2-0) after a 6-1 win Saturday over the Buffalo Sabres.