[Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images]
At just 19 years old, it's incredible to see what Olli Mattaa has been able to accomplish this year for the Pittsburgh Penguins. On Wednesday night, Mattaa scored with just 1:54 left in the third period to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead. It would hold up to be the difference maker and the Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals for their 13th straight home victory – a franchise record.
Late in the second period, Maatta's fake slap shot forced a Capitals defender to lay down and attempt to block the shot, which allowed him to walk down the boards and find Taylor Pyatt in the slot for his first goal as a member of the Penguins. This tied the game 2-2, but little did we know Maatta's fake slapper was just foreshadowing how the game would finish.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Maatta received the puck back at the point from Evgeni Malkin. He wound up for a big one-timer, and the Capitals bit just enough to allow Maatta to once again walk the defender and find an open lane to the net. Taylor Pyatt set a great screen in front of Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth and Maatta's wrist shot snuck in short side for the game winner.
It was the first career game winning goal for the Finn.
The Penguins were down 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 during the game but once again showed their resiliency.
After Pyatt tied the game late in the second at two goals a piece, it was Alex Ovechkin who would score first in the third and give the Capitals another lead with just over 11 minutes left in the game.
Ovechkin's goal came during 4-on-4 play when the Penguins somehow ended up with three defensemen on the ice and looked quite confused in their defensive zone. Marcus Johansson took advantage and found the open lane to Ovechkin for a wicked one-timer that gave the Capitals the lead.
Exactly three minutes later it was Brandon Sutter whose backhand pass to Jussi Jokinen, Maatt's Olympic teammate, standing back door tied the game 3-3. Sutter had been going back and forth from center and winger all game long and, although he only has one point to show for it, was astounding in the offensive zone all night.
Kris Letang scored the first goal for the Pens on a feed from Sidney Crosby. The assist gave Crosby his 68th point of the season and he has continued to add on to his league lead at home. He now has a point in 22 of his last 23 games at Consol Energy Center.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in the victory and the Penguins are now 20-3-0 at home, making them the first team in the NHL to hit 20 wins in their own building.
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