Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 65: Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (30-26-10) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (43-17-4)
ROOT, NBCSN, TSN2 – 7:30 pm/et 
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA

Yesterday was fun. Let's do it again!

Brooks Laich is out for the Caps. Halak is playing again. For the Pens, it would make sense for Fleury to start today, but nothing has been announced yet.


Leading Scorers:

Penguins: Sidney Crosby 30G, 57A: 87P)
Capitals: Alex Ovechkin (44G, 23A: 67P)

Starting Goaltenders:

Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (33-14-3, 2.31 GAA, .916 Sv% )
Capitals: Jaroslav Halak (25-10-4, 2.24 GAA, .917 Sv% * TOTAL)
                  (1-1-0, 2.52 GAA, .906 Sv% * WITH CAPITALS)

Last Games:

Penguins: Defeated Washington Capitals 3-2
Capitals: Lost to Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2.

Previews from Team Websites:  [Penguins] [Capitals]

Opposition Blog: [Japers' Rink]
What They're Saying: "Capitals Moments that Mattered: "Neutral" Does Not Mean "Demilitarized""

If 24 hours ago you had told Caps fans that the Caps would outshoot the Pittsburgh Penguins on Verizon Center ice, most fans would probably be happy – and probably expect at least a point out of the contest. Well, last night the Caps had 33 shots to the Penguins' 20 (!), yet were unable to skate away with any points. So what happened?

In the past, defensive zone coverage, specifically around the net, has been an issue for the Caps. Last night, however, the problems were in the neutral zone. In the two even-strength goals the Penguins scored, they moved up ice with ease, cutting through the neutral zone without resistance and crossing the Caps' blueline like it was the Maginot Line.

What Happened Last Time: March 10, 2014 – Pens won 3-2 [Our Recap]

Did anyone else notice the difference between playing the Ducks and Sharks…and then playing the Capitals? Instead of having basically no room to move, the Penguins had free ice all first period long, and that enabled them to jump out to an early 2-1 lead.

Special teams came up huge again. They put home a PPG in the first, and then the PK came through with their backs against the wall in the final 2:17 of the game.

Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Chris Kunitz. Big game for him last night. Will he have another one tonight?

Capitals Player(s) to Watch: Alex Ovechkin. The Pens were all over him last night. Will they do it again tonight?.

Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today's Game: 

Pittsburgh Penguins lines via Daily Faceoff:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Taylor Pyatt – Brandon Sutter – Joe Vitale
Tanner Glass –  Marcel Goc – Craig Adams

Olli Maatta – Brooks Orpik
Rob Scuderi – Matt Niskanen
Deryk Engelland – Simon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury

Washington Capitals lines via Daily Faceoff:

Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Dustin Penner –  Casey Wellman – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Eric Fehr – Joel Ward
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov – Mike Green
Patrick Wey – Connor Carrick

Jaroslav Halak