PITTSBURGH -- The entertainment factor in a 15-goal overtime game can be considerably high, depending on your perspective.
"It was maybe a little bit of a fun game -- fun for forwards, but not the goalies," Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin said with a wry smile Monday after he recorded a hat trick and Conor Sheary scored his second goal of the night in overtime for an 8-7 win over the Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena.
The result halted both the Penguins' three-game losing streak and the Capitals' nine-game winning streak.
Sheary's winner came 34 seconds into overtime. He and Sidney Crosby -- who had a goal and three assists -- had a two-one-one, and Sheary followed up his shot with a nudge that went in off the skate of Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen.
"It started with a good play by (defenseman Justin Schultz) to see that me and Sid were breaking," Sheary said. "He just wrapped it around, and we had a clear two-on-one from the blue line in. I was just trying to get it on net and create havoc."
Havoc was a fairly apt description for the game in general.
Washington (29-9-6), the top team in the NHL, took a 3-0 lead, the third goal starting a nine-goal barrage by the clubs in the second period that left Pittsburgh with a 6-5 lead.
Malkin got Pittsburgh's comeback started when he took a feed from Trevor Daley and blasted a shot from the right circle at 6:28 of the middle period. Sheary, Nick Bonino, Bryan Rust and Malkin again followed to make it 5-3, and the horses were out of the gate.
"That second period is one of the craziest periods I've ever been associated with," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I don't even know how to assess it."
Pittsburgh (27-11-5), which increased its league-best home record to 19-2-2, fell back into 5-5 and 7-7 ties.
"They had spurts of momentum where they just completely dominated, and then it seemed we would score on our first chance right after that," said Niskanen, who had two assists. "So, a lot of stuff going on. Kind of a head-scratcher."
Schultz added four assists and Daley three for the Penguins.
Lars Eller scored twice for the Capitals, including a goal on a rebound to produce the 7-7 tie at 14:38 of the third period. T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists. Washington also got goals from Brett Connolly, Justin Williams, Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky.
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (14-4-1) made 21 saves and improved to 8-0-1 at home.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who has six shutouts this season and had three during the winning streak, stopped 21 of 26 shots before he got pulled. Philipp Grubauer (8-1-2) stopped eight of 11 shots in relief.
"We had a pretty good lead," Holtby said of the 3-0 edge. "It was a fairly close game up until then, too. We capitalized on our chances early, and then I let that Malkin goal in, the first one, that shouldn't go in. But I was slow to react to the pass.
"After that, I mean, it was just weird."
For Malkin, the three goals and the win came after he expressed frustration and vowed that the Penguins would play better following their third loss in a row, 6-3 Saturday at Detroit. He wasn't gloating.
"Yeah, but still, they scored seven goals," he said. "That's a lot. We need to play better. We had a slow start. That's not our game. Seven goals is too much. We still need work, play in the (defensive) zone better."
His teammates considered him to be prophetic and a man who backs up his word.
"He's capable of saying stuff like that and then producing after it," Daley said. "Rather him than me."
NOTES: Washington D John Carlson did not play after leaving Sunday's game because of a lower-body injury, but coach Barry Trotz said Carlson could return Wednesday at St. Louis. ... Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom was named the NHL First Star of the Week after collecting three goals, 10 points in four games. ... Pittsburgh placed D Kris Letang (left leg or knee) on injured reserve. Coach Mike Sullivan said Letang is week-to-week. ... Penguins D Brian Dumoulin, who is on injured reserve after surgery for a broken jaw, missed his seventh game in a row. He was on the ice before the team's morning skate on Monday. ... The Penguins recalled D Chad Ruhwedel and C Jake Guentzel from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Both were in the lineup. ... Pittsburgh D Ian Cole played in his 300th NHL game. ... Pittsburgh scratched C Eric Fehr, RW Tom Kuhnhackl and D Steve Olesky. Washington scratched C Chandler Stephenson.