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Capitals shut out Penguins

WASHINGTON — Jason Chimera scored off a turnover in the first period and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves, giving the Capitals a 1-0 victory over the Penguins on Wednesday, Pittsburgh's sixth consecutive loss.

Injury-plagued Pittsburgh, on its longest losing streak since a 10-gamer in January 2006, was shut out for the first time this season. The Penguins have scored six goals in the skid.

Still, the Penguins — without Sidney Crosby and top defenseman Kris Letang because of concussions and center Jordan Staal (foot), among others — were upbeat.

"The effort was there from everybody," said defenseman Brooks Orpik, who after a loss to the Devils on Saturday had criticized the team, saying its accountability had to be better.

Vokoun didn't make things easy for the Penguins. "He made all the good saves that he had to make," Washington center Matt Hendricks said. "When we needed him to make that great save, he was there as well."

There wasn't a lot of excitement other than the goal and a fight less than 21/2 minutes in between Hendricks and Pittsburgh's Craig Adams. The Capitals had one shot in the opening 11 minutes, and there were a total of two power plays all evening, both by Washington.

The drabness was sort of fitting. The game was hardly the glamorous, all-eyes-on-this event that Penguins vs. Capitals — more to the point, Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin — has been.

No longer are these teams contending for supremacy in the NHL. Halfway through the season, the Penguins entered Wednesday in the eighth and final playoff spot in the 15-team East, two spots ahead of the Capitals. Washington's win gave both teams 46 points and moved the Capitals into eighth based on fewer games played.

The Penguins, who lead the league in man-games lost to injury, fell to ninth.

Two-time league MVP Ovechkin is into the second season of a scoring slump that has him on pace for another mediocre-for-him 35 goals. He didn't have a point Wednesday.

around the league: Crosby, out since Dec. 7, is with the Penguins on their three-game road trip that ends Sunday against the Lightning and will begin skating Friday on his own, the team said. There is no timetable for his return. … Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner, last season's rookie of the year and who is out with a concussion, was cleared for contact and practiced.

at Capitals 1 0 0 0
Penguins 0 0 0 0

First Period1, Washington, Chimera 14 (Halpern, Ward), 15:25. PenaltiesAdams, Pit, major (fighting), 2:19; Hendricks, Was, major (fighting), 2:19.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesKennedy, Pit (goaltender interference), 5:38.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesDupuis, Pit (slashing), 13:47. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 9-11-10—30. Washington 6-6-9—21. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 0; Washington 0 of 2. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 19-12-2 (21 shots-20 saves). Washington, Vokoun 17-10-0 (30-30).

Devils 0 1 0 1 2
at Oilers 0 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period1, New Jersey, Kovalchuk 17, 8:35 (sh). PenaltiesParise, NJ (tripping), 4:07; Clarkson, NJ (interference), 6:44; Parise, NJ (hooking), 18:38.

Third Period2, Edmonton, Hemsky 4 (Potter, Hall), 8:32 (pp). PenaltiesCarter, NJ (interference), 2:20; Smyth, Edm (goaltender interference), 3:07; Elias, NJ (tripping), 8:23; Potter, Edm (tripping), 19:24.

Overtime3, New Jersey, Parise 15 (Elias, Kovalchuk), 1:06 (pp). PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalNew Jersey 4-10-9-2—25. Edmonton 9-6-8-0—23. Power-play opportunitiesNew Jersey 1 of 2; Edmonton 1 of 5. GoaliesNew Jersey, Hedberg 12-7-1 (23 shots-22 saves). Edmonton, Khabibulin 11-12-4 (25-23).

Capitals shut out Penguins 01/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:58pm]
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