Capitals pull away from Penguins
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Wilson scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 7:20 left and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Thursday night for their second victory in six games this season between the rivals.
Nicklas Backstrom scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season, and T.J. Oshie had one for the highlight reel in the third period when he dived one-handed to poke the puck past Tristan Jarry.
Wilson’s tap-in on the power play helped Washington respond after blowing a 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals against 3 minutes apart.
Wilson was at the center of everything with and without the puck. The Capitals’ bench got fired up when Evgeni Malkin knocked the puck out of Wilson’s hands and kicked it away on a Pittsburgh power play; Wilson delivered a late hit on Mark Jankowski that earned him an interference penalty; and he exchanged words with a few Penguins players throughout the night.
Scoring his seventh goal of the season only made him more unpopular with the Penguins and their fans.
Carl Hagelin and Lars Eller each scored an empty-netter, and Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 26 saves in his 16th start of the season. Chris Tanev scored on him short-handed and Jake Guentzel tied it at even strength.
Jarry allowed three goals on 33 shots. Pittsburgh’s power play went 0 for 4 with just four shots on goal.
These two teams aren’t scheduled to face off again until April 29 in Washington.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said winger Jason Zucker will be out “longer term” with a lower-body injury. Zucker was injured Tuesday night when his right skate slid into Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen’s right skate, and he had to be helped off the ice.
Forward Jared McCann missed his seventh consecutive game with a lower-body injury. McCann has been cleared for contact and is expected to return soon.
SAMSONOV STILL OUT
After entering the season as Washington’s No. 1 goaltender, Ilya Samsonov hasn’t played an NHL game in more than a month. Samsonov has made three minor league rehab starts since recovering from a bout with COVID-19.
Samsonov allowed four goals on 19 shots in a game with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears on Wednesday night and was recalled to the Capitals’ taxi squad Thursday. Coach Peter Laviolette said the team’s focus was on the Penguins game and added, “I’m sure we’ll have an update at some point here.”
Penguins: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday night for the first of two consecutive games on Long Island.
Capitals: Play the first of two in a row at New Jersey on Saturday. Washington is 1-3-2 in day games this season, with that one victory coming at home against the Devils.
Ohio State fans will pay more for access
COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio State fans who want to buy season tickets for some of the best seats at home football games will pay extra for that access beginning in 2022 to help fund athletic scholarships.
University trustees approved a new tiered ticket plan Thursday to require a per-seat contribution of up to $1,500 in addition to the ticket price for top-tier seats at Ohio Stadium.
That is more in line with what many other large schools do and will lower prices for season tickets in less desirable sections, athletic director Gene Smith said.
It’s expected to increase giving for scholarships from around $14 million annually to between $25 million and $30 million eventually, he said.
Smith said the change was in the works for a while and isn’t related to his department’s revenue deficit from the pandemic, which is expected to be around $60 million for the fiscal year ending June 30 — less severe than a previous estimate of $100 million.
The new ticket plan will divide the nearly 103,000-seat stadium into six pricing zones, both for season plans and single games. There will be no per-seat contribution for about one-third of season-ticket holders in the least desirable locations. Others will pay on a sliding scale depending on the zone.
More than 14,000 season tickets will be available to the public at regular prices, with no extra contribution required, according to the athletic department.
Tickets for the 2022 season will range from $710 to $1,287 per seat for the eight-game package. About 28,000 seats are allocated for Ohio State students, who pay $34 per game.