Penguins lose 2 D-men, beat Caps to end 7-game losing streak

Nov 9, 2022, 5:10 AM | Updated: 7:56 pm
Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, left, skates with the puck as he is pressured by Pittsb...

Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, left, skates with the puck as he is pressured by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jason Zucker in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

              Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, left, skates with the puck as he is pressured by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jason Zucker in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Brock McGinn, right, skates against Washington Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin skates in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry skates in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Danton Heinen, left, and Washington Capitals defenseman Alexander Alexeyev chase after the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Danton Heinen, left, takes a shot on goal in front of Washington Capitals defenseman Alexander Alexeyev in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd, center, skates past Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, back left, and right wing Bryan Rust in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Washington Capitals right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (96) tries to maintain possession of the puck as he is pressured by Pittsburgh Penguins center Ryan Poehling (25) and defenseman Jeff Petry in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper, left, blocks a shot attempt by Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Rickard Rakell (67) in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Rickard Rakell skates past Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            
              Members of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate a goal by Jeff Petry (26) in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Already down two defensemen to injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in desperation mode when Jeff Petry skated off in pain and left them with just three healthy players at the position.

Veteran forward Jeff Carter to the rescue. Carter skated a shift on defense in his 1,313th NHL game Wednesday night to fill the void before Petry returned and the Penguins pieced enough together to beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 and snap their seven-game losing streak.

“Couldn’t have more confidence in Carts,” said goaltender Casey DeSmith, who made 24 saves for his first win of the season. “Monkey off the back. Obviously the team win means everything. Safe to say we needed it, and we earned it.”

The Penguins earned it by going a perfect 4 of 4 on the penalty kill against an opponent that was 4 of 5 on the power play in its last game. They also took advantage of Darcy Kuemper’s struggles in net, getting soft goals by Jason Zucker and Brock McGinn on shots that squeaked through.

“I don’t like letting in goals like that, and I’m not used to letting in goals like that,” said Kuemper, who allowed three goals on 27 shots. “I hate to lose, so tonight was a bad night.”

It could have been a bad night for Pittsburgh after losing Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Jan Rutta to injuries in the second period. Instead, No. 1 defenseman Kris Letang skated a game-high 28:28 and the Penguins won for the first time since Oct. 22, ending the organization’s longest skid since losing 10 in a row in 2006, during Sidney Crosby’s rookie season.

“Everybody in here’s happy about that,” said McGinn, who scored short-handed. “We’ve been taking some good strides the last couple games to try and get this win, and I think everybody’s a little relieved and happy that we came out tonight and got one.”

The Penguins were relieved Petry, who beat Kuemper clean on a shot from just inside the blue line for the third goal of the game, returned after a brief absence because, as Marcus Pettersson said, being down to three defensemen is a lot different than four. Coach Mike Sullivan in the meantime was just looking for a forward who could skate backwards and chose 37-year-old Carter for the cameo appearance.

“We were running a little low back there,” Carter said. “I was little bit out of my element there, but Sully says you’ve got to play your position.”

Sullivan said Rutta, who was leveled by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, was being evaluated for an upper-body injury and Joseph for a lower-body injury.

“Good thing we have Carts back there to step up,” Pettersson said. “Hope the guys are all right, but you see a lot of ice time.”

Ovechkin’s point streak ended at six games and his goal streak at three. Missing several key players because of injury, Washington lost for the sixth time in eight games.

“We had opportunities, and we couldn’t put them in,” Sullivan said. “They had some bounces that went their way.”

NOTES: Jake Guentzel scored an empty-net goal with 1:36 left. … Capitals F Conor Sheary blocked a shot in the second and hobbled to the bench but remained in the game. Sheary was whistled for an illegal check to the head in the third that was a minor penalty because he did not extend his arm to make contact. … Penguins F Filip Hallander and Capitals D Alexander Alexeyev each made his season debut and played his second career NHL game.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

Capitals: Face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night to wrap up a four-game home stand.

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Jan Blachowicz, right, reacts after knocking out Luke Rockhold during the second round of th...
Associated Press

UFC 282: Suddenly vacant light heavyweight belt at stake

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev have been waiting for their shot at the light heavyweight title, and neither expected it to come Saturday. They were supposed to compete in the co-main event of UFC 282 until champion Jiri Prochazka pulled out last month of his fight with second-ranked Glover Teixeira because […]
2 days ago
FILE - Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during women's basketball gold medal game against Japan a...
Associated Press

Quote Box: Reaction to Brittney Griner’s release from Russia

Reactions after WNBA star Brittney Griner was freed from a Russian prison in a high-profile prisoner exchange. ___ “A strong woman has the strength of 10 men. If you think about all the women that have been advocating for BG for nine months and you add up our strength. This movement brought her home. Yes […]
2 days ago
Perci Ami, left, of Laveen, Ariz., and Patty Talahongva show support for Brittney Griner, Thursday,...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s release celebrated by basketball world

Brittney Griner’s loved ones and extended basketball family were ecstatic when news broke Thursday about her release from a Russian prison and that she was on her way back to the United States. It has been nearly 300 days since the WNBA star was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, when customs officials said […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Youth hockey doctor faces more sex abuse charges

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit doctor already jailed on criminal sexual conduct charges connected to his work with youth hockey organizations has been charged in two additional cases. Zvi Levran, 66, is accused of sexually assaulting a 30-year-old man in 2020 in Levran’s Farmington Hills home and a 14-year-old boy in 2018 […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

New Mexico State Police release fatal campus shooting video

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — State Police have released surveillance footage of last month’s fatal shooting on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque that involved a basketball player from a rival school. Rooftop parking lot video released Tuesday by police showed that three people approached New Mexico State University junior forward Mike Peake, […]
2 days ago
Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, left, and France's Youssouf Fofana, right, fight for the ball during the ...
Associated Press

From serving pizzas, Fofona now delivering World Cup crosses

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Youssouf Fofana has gone from serving pizzas to delivering crosses in the World Cup. Dropped in 2015 at age 14 from Clairefontaine, France’s national training center, his future in soccer seemed at an end. So he went to work for a pizzeria. “That was the best way to earn money […]
2 days ago
Penguins lose 2 D-men, beat Caps to end 7-game losing streak