Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) celebrates with teammate Richard… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )
WASHINGTON — Chris Kunitz scored the tiebreaking goal at 2 minutes 36 seconds of the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Washington, 2-1, on Thursday night to keep the Capitals winless under new Coach Dale Hunter.
Craig Adams also scored for the Penguins, who improved to 4-1-1 since captain Sidney Crosby returned to the lineup following an 11-month absence with a concussion.
Jason Chimera got his team-leading 10th goal for the Capitals, who were 11-0-2 against their bitter rivals in the regular season since March 8, 2009.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 33 shots, but the Capitals couldn't back his effort with any firepower on the other end of the ice. The Capitals took only 17 shots against Marc-Andre Fleury in their second straight 2-1 loss since Hunter, a former Capitals star, replaced the fired Bruce Boudreau on Monday.
Crosby was held without a point for only the second time in six games since his return. He received his concussion by taking two blows to the head last January, the first of which came against the Capitals on New Year's Day in the Winter Classic. Since coming back, the standout center has two goals and nine assists.
Crosby's lengthy absence, along with the ineffectiveness this season of Washington's Alex Ovechkin, has dimmed one of the NHL's most notable individual duels. Ovechkin was also held without a point, and he has only one goal in his last 10 games.
Kunitz got the game-winner by skating around a check by John Erskine and firing a wrist shot that bounced off Vokoun and bounded into the net.
Washington has lost four straight and seven of nine.