Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 48: Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (22-16-8) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (33-12-2)
NBCSN, TSN2, RDS – 8:00 pm/et 
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA

It's a the top two teams in the "We Still Can't Take This Name Seriously" Division as the Penguins take on the Washington Capitals.

Sure, the "SID VS OVI OMGOMGOMG" hype can get really annoying, but that doesn't mean that games against the Caps aren't fun. This is especially true when you compare them to games in western Canada that take place in the middle of the night. Sorry, Calgary, it's more fun watching Washington than it is watching you.

In line-up news, Brandon Sutter is going to be on Sidney Crosby's wing and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond-Jean-Claude-Van-Damme has been recalled from WBS. So has Nick Drazenovic.

The Tale of the Tape from NHL.com:

The last time these two teams played, it was domination by the Penguins. Take a look at the shot attempts for that game:

[Via Extra Skater]

Extra Skater also has a good "fancy stats" preview of tonight's game. The rolling average of the Pens' shot attempts has been dropping recently. The Capitals' has been going up:

Yes, the Penguins are red on one chart and blue on the other and it's confusing.


Leading Scorers:

Penguins: Sidney Crosby (25G, 42A: 67P)
Capitals: Nicklas Backstrom (11G, 37A: 48P)

Starting Goaltenders:

Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (26-10-1, 2.24 GAA, .918 Sv% )
Capitals: Michal Neuvirth (3-3-1, 2.72 GAA, .916 Sv%)

Last Games:

Penguins: Defeated Calgary Flames 2-1.
Capitals: Lost to San Jose Sharks 2-1 [SO].

Previews from Team Websites:  [Penguins] [Capitals]

Opposition Blog: [Japers' Rink]
What They're Saying: "Shark-Bitten; Caps @ Pens Game Day"

Five years after one of the better playoff series in recent memory, there has yet to be a rematch in the postseason between the Caps and Pens. Frankly I can wait a little longer.

What Happened Last Time: November 11, 2013 – Pens won 4-0 [Our Recap]

This was one of the best games we've seen the Penguins play in a really long time. It is a signature win because it’s a powerful reminder of what this team can do and why everyone gets jammed when they don't play like it. It’s a signature win because this is how the game will be referenced to for the rest of the season: "Why are the Penguins playing like shit? Remember when they blew Washington out? Come on, man."

The Pens added yet another national-TV embarrassment of the Capitals to their belt. And the Pens are now 2-2 on Penguins Night in America on NBCSN.

Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Brandon Sutter. Playing wing could be a big adjustment for him. 

Capitals Player(s) to Watch: Alex Ovechkin. Because he scores goals.

Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today's Game: 

Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Brandon Sutter
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Tanner Glass – Nicholas Drazenovic – Craig Adams
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond/Taylor Pyatt – Zach Sill – Deryk Engelland
Rob Scuderi – Kris Letang
Robert Bortuzzo – Brooks Oprik
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Marc-Andre Fleury

Glass-Drazenovic-Adams is a long way from Cooke-Staal-Kennedy, folks.

Washington Capitals lines from Daily Faceoff:

Eric Fehr – Mikhail Grabovski – Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich – Nicklas Backstrom – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Marcus Johansson – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov – Mike Green
John Erskine – Connor Carrick

Michal Neuvirth