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Motivated Caps outslug Penguins

WASHINGTON — The goalie who got dissed turned shaky into a shutout.

Alex Ovechkin took a hit to the knee so nasty he wasn't penalized when he retaliated with a punch to the face.

That was just a taste of the animosity from the Capitals' 3-0 win over the Penguins.

"They don't like us. We don't like them," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's the way it should be."

Michal Neuvirth, who was called "shaky" by Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma during the HBO series that shadowed the teams during the buildup to the Winter Classic, made 22 saves for his second career shutout.

"Before the game, I remembered when he said that," Neuvirth said, "and I kind of looked at him during the warm-up and told myself that I got to shut these guys out (Sunday)."

Brooks Laich scored in the first period, Marcus Johansson got a shorthanded goal in the second period, and Mike Knuble added an empty-netter.

With 3:42 to play, Matt Cooke tripped Ovechkin knee-to-knee in the open ice. Ovechkin got up, and he and Nicklas Backstrom charged Cooke, both landing punches to the face. Cooke was given 2 minutes for tripping; neither Ovechkin nor Backstrom was penalized.

Forsberg back

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peter Forsberg, the former league MVP, signed a $1 million prorated contract for the rest of the season with the Avalanche.

Forsberg, 37, said he made the decision to return after a three-year hiatus after practicing with the team for two weeks, trying to determine if his chronically injured right foot could handle it. "I'd like to play, but I'm not sure how it's going to go," said Forsberg, who is uncertain when his first playing time will come.

at Capitals 1 1 1 3
Penguins 0 0 0 0

First Period1, Washington, Laich 11 (Erskine, Perreault), 18:22. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period2, Washington, Johansson 7 (Schultz), 3:58 (sh). PenaltiesHendricks, Was (goaltender interference), 2:03; Tangradi, Pit (hooking), 5:15; Rupp, Pit (cross-checking), 9:28; Talbot, Pit (slashing), 18:24.

Third Period3, Washington, Knuble 13 (Hendricks), 19:16 (en). PenaltiesWallace, Pit, major (fighting), 7:52; Steckel, Was, major (fighting), 7:52; Perreault, Was (tripping), 10:24; Cooke, Pit (tripping), 16:18. Shots on GoalPit. 5-10-7—22. Was. 8-10-6—24. Power-play opportunitiesPit. 0 of 2; Was. 0 of 4. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 25-12-2 (23 shots-21 saves). Washington, Neuvirth 16-6-4 (22-22). A18,398. T2:20.

Devils 2 1 1 4
at Canadiens 0 1 0 1

First Period1, New Jersey, Zubrus 10, 1:12. 2, New Jersey, Kovalchuk 16 (C.White, Zajac), 4:04. PenaltiesPacioretty, Mon (holding), 6:41; Tallinder, NJ (hooking), 12:39.

Second Period3, New Jersey, Zajac 9 (Volchenkov), 3:16. 4, Montreal, Subban 6 (Gomez, Pacioretty), 6:32. PenaltiesPacioretty, Mon (goaltender interference), 12:41.

Third Period5, New Jersey, Kovalchuk 17 (Zajac), 18:39 (en). PenaltiesGomez, Mon, misconduct, 18:39. Shots on GoalN.J. 10-14-6—30. Mon. 11-5-10—26. Power-play opportunitiesN.J. 0 of 2; Montreal 0 of 1. GoaliesN.J., Brodeur 13-19-2 (11 shots-11 saves), Hedberg (0:00 second, 15-14). Montreal, Price 26-17-5 (29-26). A21,273. T2:18.

Motivated Caps outslug Penguins 02/06/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 6, 2011 8:02pm]

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