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2011 Winter Classic: Eric Fehr Helps Capitals Defeat Penguins, 3-1

The Penguins lost to the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic, 3-1. Eric Fehr opened the scoring five minutes into the second period, and Mike Knuble made it 2-0 Caps with a power play goal a few minutes later. Evgeni Malkin scored late in the period for the Pens to make it 2-1.

The Pens were very persistent throughout the first half of the third period, particularly on a power-play opportunity after a delay-of-game penalty about midway through, but they couldn’t manage to score on goalie Semyon Varlamov, who recorded 32 saves for the game. The Capitals added an insurance goal eight minutes before the end of the game on a breakaway goal by Fehr, who beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot to the top right corner of the goal.

After that, the Penguins couldn’t get much going, at least not until around the time Fleury was pulled with about two minutes left. Another Capitals goal was disallowed after Alex Ovechkin was called for interfering with Fleury behind the goal.

Exciting as it was to have a game at Heinz Field, it’s hard to tell how much stock to put in this game. By the third period, the ice was sopping wet. The skating at times appeared to be faster than in a normal NHL game, the puck-handling looked a little bit awkward, presumably because the players weren’t used to surfaces that slick. And it wasn’t all bad – we got to see Jordan Staal for the first time this season.

A quick note on the camera work - I know this was a special occasion and everything, but it's very hard to watch hockey with these roaming, overhead, up-and-down-the-ice shots. It was very hard to follow the action at times. I've even heard from a couple of people that the moving cameras made them nauseous. That didn't happen for me, but I certainly see how it could.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.