The Pittsburgh Penguins won their first regular season game in regulation at the Verizon Center since March of 2008 on Thursday night. The Capitals fell to 0-2 under new coach Dale Hunter.
Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead on a soft Chris Kunitz goal let up by Tomas Vokoun, and a mix up between Marcus Johansson and John Erskine which put the puck right on Kunitz's stick. The Pens forward stole the puck off the board and the Caps defenseman's stick on the play. Erskine and Johnansson got tangled up, and Erskine went down, with the puck coming loose in the middle of the ice. Kunitz immediately controlled it and put a quick shot on Vokoun. The shot was a body blow that caught the Caps' netminder off guard, as it appeared Erskine and Johansson had control of the puck in the zone just a second earlier. The knuckle puck shot trickled off Vokoun and through the seven hole for the 2-1 lead. It was a sequence that had to make new coach Dale Hunter grimace.
Washington once again struggled generating offensive chances. The Pens doubled up the Caps in shots on goal, limiting Washington to just two opportunities in the third period. It was the lowest shot total of the season for Washington. Hunter will now have to wait until Saturday night, when Ottawa comes to town, to get his first win as Caps coach.