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NHL Winter Classic: Caps Lead The Pens 2-1 After Two Periods

After a first period in which the Capitals and Penguins were feeling each other out, the second period provided plenty of action, with both sides flexing their muscle. After the dust settled, it is Washington who goes into the locker room with a 2-1 advantage after two periods.

The period began with Alex Ovechkin getting a handful of scoring chances that he could not take advantage of. Ovechkin's best chance was on a breakaway on Pittsburgh goal tender Marc-Andre Fleury, one where Fleury just got a peice of the puck to spare his team of the early deficit.

Not only did Fleury fight off the Capitals early scoring opportunities, he was able to spark Pittsburgh's first goal. After another Ovechkin near-miss, Fleury found center Evgeni Malkin who was all alone for the breakaway on Washington goal tender Semyon Varlamov, who was unable to stop Malkin from giving his team the early one goal lead. Pittsburgh drew first blood as Malkin was able to beat Semyon on the wrister, giving the Pens the early advantage.

But Washington quickly answered their bitter rivals. After a holding penalty on Pittsburgh center Maxime Talbot, the Caps were finally able to cash in on a power play chance. Mike Green set up near the net but fell during a shot attempt. Fortunately for the Caps, Fleury was unable to secure the loose puck, Nicklas Backstrom tried his luck with a tip in, but was unsuccessful. Finally, Mike Knuble was able to battle through the ensuing scrum and got it past Fleury, tying the game at 1 goal a piece.

And while the action certainly picked up during this period, there were some moments where the elements really took  their toll on the game. The prime example would be on Jason Chimera's wrap around attempt, where it looked like he was unable to get around the net as fast as he would have liked, which gave Fleury an easier opportunity to get the save on what would have been an easy goal.

But the Caps were able to atone from Chimera's near goal shortly thereafter. After a misplay by Fleury, Marcus Johansson was able to pick off the pass and find Eric Fehr in front of the net, who scored on a snap shot, giving the Caps the 2-1 lead, Washington's first of the game. 

But that lead looked like it would be brief in the waning moments of the period. The scare came when Pittsburgh defenseman Craig Adams appeared to tie the game, but the goal was disallowed as Michael Rupp was called for running into Varlamov.

And with that, the Caps left the ice with a 2-1 lead after two.