The Washington Times - January 23, 2012, 09:26AM

PITTSBURGH | A popular narrative as the Washington Capitals were behind 2-0 Sunday to the Pittsburgh Penguins was that they were undermanned. Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) missed his ninth straight game and Marcus Johansson was scratched because of an illness.

But after the Caps managed to pick up a point in a 4-3 overtime loss, players were not using lack of center depth as an excuse. The Penguins were already without Sidney Crosby (post-concussion symptoms) and Jordan Staal (knee) and have been for quite some time.


“Obviously we got some guys out of the lineup right now. And that team does, too,” defenseman Dennis Wideman said. “That team’s been playing a short lineup all year.”

Almost everyone admitted that the comeback to pick up a point, especially with points at a premium, was a good thing. But failing to hold a lead in the third period had less to do with Backstrom and Johansson being out than the kind of defensive breakdowns that have plagued the Caps all season.

“Yeah, it’s a good point for us. We battled hard,” center Mathieu Perreault said. “We were missing some good players on our side. So were they, too. But that was a good battle for both teams.”