Final score: Penguins 6, Capitals 3
Why it matters: The Penguins got a hat trick from Chris Kunitz and won their third game in a row, continuing to distance themselves from a sloppy stretch of games.
In a nutshell: The Penguins scored first (again) but found themselves in a 2-2 tie in the second period after Washington's John Carlson was credited with a goal after his dump-in caromed wildly off of the glass and into the net. The Penguins responded in the minutes following that unlucky bounce by killing a penalty and getting goals from Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz.
Turning point: Letang and Kunitz scored within 3-1/2 minutes of Carlson's goal, providing the cushion the Penguins needed.
Under the radar: The Penguins defensemen were involved at both ends of the ice. They accounted for 11 of the team's 22 blocked shots, some of them at key moments. They kept the Penguins moving quickly through the neutral zone.
The brightest star: Kunitz had a goal taken away from him when it was ruled he did not touch a shot by Paul Martin on the opening score, but he came back to secure a hat trick anyway.
The last word: Kunitz, on how well the Penguins are playing: "We played well to start the season, then we didn't have a good stretch of games. We're trying to build a new identity, and that's being able to play 60-minute games, trying to do the same things from the first shift to the fifth shift and into the third period. I think we've done a great job of building on that."
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