Evgeni Malkin fed Maatta at the point and instead of blasting a one-timer Maatta faked a shot then skated to the top of the left circle, where his shot went through a screen before finding the back of the net.
“I’ve been working on (the shot fake),” Maatta said. “It makes me more unpredictable.”
So was a game between longtime rivals who could see plenty of each other in the spring under the NHL's new division and playoff format.
Over much of the first two periods it was difficult to tell which team was coming off a shootout loss in a different building the night before and which one was playing for the first time this week.
Washington has one of the game’s top power plays, but Laich provided a short-handed tally when he took advantage of a turnover by Letang to ignite a two-on-two break that ended with Laich all alone in front of Fleury. A flick of Laich’s wrist later the Penguins were trailing, a rarity during their run of home dominance.
Letang atoned 9:53 into the second period, ending a Pittsburgh rush by taking a deft drop pass from Crosby and throwing a puck at the net that deflected off two Capitals before sneaking by Neuvirth to tie it. Crosby’s assist extended his home points streak to 17 games, the second-longest of his career.
Chimera put Washington back in front less than five minutes later, easily tapping in a centering pass from Marcus Johansson. Pittsburgh pulled even with 3:52 left in the second as Pyatt scored for the first time since April 23, 2013, when he was a fourth-line forward for the New York Rangers.