CONSOL Energy Center
Back-to-back games for both the Pens and the Caps. Washington is five points behind Pittsburgh for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Caps wons 2-1 in Buffalo yesterday. They're 4-5-1 in their last ten. Ovechkin is five points behind Crosby in scoring. He's played 60 games to Crosby's 41.
It's always big when the Caps and Pens play, regardless of who is in the line-up. It's even bigger when playoff positioning is on the line. There's no doubt that this is going to be a tough one.
- Know your enemy: RockTheRed.Net
Capitals' rookie centers Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault have had to endure a lot of talk in the past few weeks about the Capitals' need for an experienced #2 center. They have silenced those voices for one day, at least, as they provided all the offense in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Hockey Day in America.
Season series: 2-1 Capitals
Last meeting: February 6th, 2011 - Capitals Won 3-0
What we said in our recap:
After of a weekend of awful lows and terrible news, there's not much to say. Pens are in a weird position. They have given themselves enough cushion to survive the next month, and the next month could be painful. Without Crosby and Malkin, the Pens are, at best, an average team. Yes, they did just win five in row, but you're only as good as your last game. And against the Caps, the Pens looked shitty.
No news on Staal's potential injury yet. He's expected to play tonight though.
Paul Martin is questionable.
No idea who will be on D if he can't play. Brian Strait has been called up.
Chris Kunitz took part in the morning skate, but he won't play tonight.
Not sure if Marc-Andre Fleury or Brent Johnson will be starting.
The PG says that the Pens are still looking at Kovalev despite already making a trade today.
After being hit by a Brooks Orpik shot during the last Pens/Caps game Mike Green is still injured.
The Caps are 9-0-2 in their last 11 regular season games against the Pens.
Favorite Capitals-related Photoshop or gif:
So many to choose from:
More genius by Stephen S: A limited edition "Bury Gillies" shirt.
Potential Penguins lines:
Brett Sterling - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Craig Adams - Tyler Kennedy
Mike Rupp - Max Talbot - Chris Conner
Ryan Craig - Joe Vitale - Tim Wallace
Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Ben Lovejoy - Deryk Engelland
Marc-Andre Fleury/Brent Johnson
Capitals Lines from Empty Netters:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Mike Knuble
Brooks Laich - Marcus Johansson - Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Matt Hendricks
David Steckel - Boyd Gordon - Matt Bradley
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Nick Schultz - Scott Hannan
John Erskine - Tyler Sloan
It's not unusual to be called up at any time: