I'll chalk this one up to the advantage of having the game in Washington. They were the beneficiaries of timely scoring and one really great save by Varlamov.
The Caps tried their best to give the game to the Pens. They committed 22 giveaways, and were especially sloppy in the first period when the puck didn't leave the Washington end for most of the first 10 minutes.
The Pens were unable to capitalize.
There were two big reasons for the loss:
First was a bad penalty taken by Cooke that put the Pens down by two men for about a minute. The Caps scored on that chance.
Second was the abject failure of the power play... again. Once they were setup in the zone, they seemed to get some decent chances, but man, they couldn't get setup very well. This is the biggest area of concern, in my opinion. They were facing a somewhat shaky goalie who had let in a soft one (Eaton's goal), and they really needed to crank up the pressure and fire pucks on net. I know the Caps blocked 18 shots, but the Pens had 14 missed shots. Those shots need to be on net.
Having said that, if the Pens come out on Monday night and play this kind of game again, I feel good about their chances. Eliminate a few mistakes (bad penalty by Cooke, one bad rebound by Fleury) and I think things will be okay.
Next up: Back to the noise on Monday night.