Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 22: Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins (13-8-0) @ Washington Capitals (12-8-1)
NBCSN, TSN2 – 8:00 pm/et 
Verizon Center – Washington, DC

Image Credit: ep_jhu on Flickr

Top spot in the Most Terrible Division is on the line as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Washington Capitals. The Penguins are 6-4-0 in their last 10 while the Capitals are 7-2-1.

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NHL.com also has a video on Sid vs Ovi. Sid vs. Ovi. Sid vs. Ovi. Sid vs. Ovi. Get used to hearing that a lot today. We hear there's some "Evgeni Malkin" guy out there who's pretty good too, but we're not sure. The media never talks about him.

NHL.com has also put up a "Tale of the Tape" for the game:

Despite all of the hype and repetitive narratives from the media, Pens/Caps games are always fun. This should be a good one. 


Leading Scorers:

Penguins: Sidney Crosby (10G, 16A: 26P)
Capitals: Alex Ovechkin (17G, 7A: 24P)

Starting Goaltenders:

Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (12-6-0, 2.00 GAA, .921 Sv% )
Capitals: Braden Holtby (10-6-0, 2.62 GAA, .925 Sv%)

Last Games:

Penguins: Defeated Anaheim Ducks 3-1.
Capitals: Defeated St. Louis Blues 4-1.

Previews from Team Websites:  [Penguins] [Capitals]

Line Combinations and Notes: [Notes & Lines: Sid vs Ovi!!!!!!!!OMG!!!!dsdsacewfceasx!]

Opposition Blog: [The Russian Machine Never Breaks]
What They're Saying: "No One Cares About Penguins-Capitals Games Anymore"

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals used to be a big deal, but that was a long time ago. It’s over now– Caps vs Pens is just #anothergame. When the world’s best playmaker, Sidney Crosby, faces off against the world’s best scorer, Jason Chimera Alex Ovechkin, all we can muster now is a yawn.

I can’t even remember the time Crosby and Ovechkin scored matching hat tricks in May of 2009. I have just the vaguest memory of comparing Alex’s three Hart Trophies to Sidney’s one, or comparing Sidney’s Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold to Alex’s really hot and altogether delightful fiancée. I couldn’t recall the Snowvechkin game if you dropped 75 inches of snow on me. And would someone please give me a quick refresher course on the time or seven the Penguins knocked the Capitals out of the playoffs over the last 25 years?

That’s my attempt at a counter-counter media narrative. I’m doing the sarcasm thing again, sorry.

Despite less-than-earnest protestations to the contrary, Penguins-Capitals is still the biggest thing going. And for the first time in eons, Crosby and Ovechkin will meet while the former is healthy and the latter is sick unbelievable))).

Rather than being cynical at the media hype, we should be grateful that we’re so lucky as to witness a good game between these teams again.

What Happened Last Time: March 19, 2013 – Pens won 2-1 [Our Recap]

The Pens refuse to lose at this point. They've given up six goals in six games. Six. The goaltending was outstanding, and the defense was stout once again.

But it is more than that. It's more than a clutch third-period goal or that it came against the Caps. The Pens got a game-tying goal from Paul Martin and of course the game-winner from Niskanen. When is the last time something like that happened with the Pens' D-men?

The Pens probably played their overall weakest game during this streak and still found a way to win. The win is also important because it pushes the Caps further off the playoff cliff. The Caps needed points; didn't get any.

Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Sidney Crosby. Duh. 

Capitals Player(s) to Watch: Alex Ovechkin. Duh.

Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today's Game: