Game Preview: Capitals @ Penguins

caps-pens-preview

After two exciting home victories the Capitals will embark on a three game road trip.  The first stop is Pittsburgh tomorrow night as Alex Ovechkin and the Caps take on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Series Flashback:
Sunday’s game is the fourth of five meetings between the teams this season.  The Capitals have won three straight meetings inside of Consol Energy Center dating back to Feb. 27, 2014.  These teams met earlier this month in DC with the Caps prevailing 3-2.  The Caps lead the series 2-1.

Scouting the Penguins:
The Penguins enter Sunday’s contest on a five game winning streak.  This afternoon they handled fellow Pennsylvania rival: the Flyers with a 4-1 victory in Philly.  After Trailing 1-0, the Pens erupted for four straight goals thanks to Trevor Daley, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, and Kris Letang.

The win moved Pittsburgh to third place in the Metropolitan Division and improved their record to 39-24-8 with 86 points.  Despite being in third, they are only a point ahead of the Islanders.  The Isles currently hold the first wild card spot.  The five game winning streak is impressive considering star center Evgeni Malkin got injured last Friday in Columbus.

That was when the streak started.  Malkin will be out for 6-8 weeks with an upper-body injury.  Carrying the load is captain Sidney Crosby, who leads Pens with 31 goals and 43 assists.

Scouting the Capitals:
The Caps are coming off a 4-1 win of their own on Friday night, beating the Predators on home ice.  After allowing the first goal to former Caps prospect Filip Forsberg, the Caps scored four consecutive goals.  Daniel Winnik scored his first two goals in a Capitals sweater and T.J. Oshie and Andre Burakovsky also found the back of the net.  Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists.  Braden Holtby stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn his 43rd victory of the season.

The win improved Washington’s record to 51-14-5 with 107 points which is tops in the league.  The Capitals are tied for second in road wins with a 23-8-3 record.

Players To Watch:

Penguins: Sidney Crosby
With Malkin’s injury the Penguins star has stepped up after a slow start to the season.  Crosby has 31 goals, 43 assists and 74 points.  He is also riding an 11 game point streak thanks to an assist on Kunitz’s goal against the Flyers.

Capitals: Alex Ovechkin
No Capitals-Penguins game is complete without talking about these two superstars.  Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 42 and goals per 60 minutes with 1.82.  He also has 21 assists and 63 points.  Ovi has tallied in 20 points in his last 20 games with 13 goals and seven assists.

Metropolitan Division Standings:

Capture

Network Information:
You can catch the game nationally on NBCSN.  Puck drop is at 6 p.m.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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