WASHINGTON — Eighteen years running, the Sid and Geno Show is still rolling along and capable of being a hit performance.
Sidney Crosby scored twice on the power play, Evgeni Malkin had a goal and three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 4-0 Friday night for their first win of the season.
“When they’re at their best, I think they’re still elite players,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “They just control everything within their power to set themselves up for success, and we get the privilege to watch it every day.”
Crosby’s first goal came while he was falling in front of the net, and his second was a one-timer off a pass from Malkin, who opened the scoring with a shot past Charlie Lindgren. Offseason acquisition Erik Karlsson made the play to keep the puck in at the blue line to set up Malkin’s goal.
At the other end of the ice later in the second period, Tristan Jarry stopped Alex Ovechkin on a breakaway, one of his 19 saves for the shutout.
“He had a zone and a half between him and our player, so it was just getting out, challenging and making sure I was at a good spot, and if he were to deke or shoot I was prepared for it,” said Jarry, who has stopped 51 of the 54 shots he has faced through two starts. “It is two games in, so I just want to keep improving every game, making sure I’m getting better in practice, making sure I’m focusing on the details and I think that’s going to help my game throughout the year.”
Malkin also assisted on Reilly Smith’s goal in the third that made it 4-0 and gave him a four-point night.
“He was just all over the ice,” Crosby said of Malkin. “Nights like this where he’s feeling it, he’s going to set up guys or create chances himself. He was just all over the puck.”
The play of their longtime franchise cornerstones, newest addition and No. 1 goaltender helped the Penguins bounce back from a season-opening 4-2 loss to Chicago.
They also spoiled the debut of Capitals coach Spencer Carbery, behind the bench for Washington’s first game of the season. Lindgren, starting because Darcy Kuemper’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, was sharp throughout and wasn’t to blame for the four goals he allowed on 35 shots.
“He was great and made a lot of good saves,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “We all know what he’s capable of. He’s very calm back there, very cool.”
It’s the first time the Capitals have been shut out in 49 season openers.
“Just move on,” Ovechkin said. “We didn’t get the results, you know? Boys was ready, but we gonna watch the video and gonna play better the next game.”