Gameday 26 – Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins (14-7-4) @ Washington Capitals (12-10-1)

7:00 pm/et


Verizon Center – Washington, DC

This will be Sidney Crosby's first game against the Capitals since "the incident." It's Dale Hunter's second game behind the Caps' bench. He'd love to get his first win as an NHL head coach against the Penguins. The Verizon Center crowd will likely be jacked for this game and desperate for a win. Buckle up.

Season Series: 0-0-1.

Last meeting that counted: October 13, 2011. Capitals won 3-2 [OT].

What we said in our recap:

Our friend Zoe at Puck Huffers brought this up about the game: the game felt just like every other Tomas Vokoun/Penguins game. Didn't even feel like a Caps/Pens game. Pens outshot the Caps, 41-19. 41 to 19. Games like that happen in the NHL.

There's no reason to get bent out of shape about losing this game. It's the fifth game of the season. No one should start getting irrational till at least the 20-game mark. Plus, the Caps looked horrrrrrrrrible. Like, really bad. Their two goals in regulation came on a bizarre play by Mike Knuble and a lucky deflection. The Caps generated no offense at all. But it was the Tomas Vokoun Show. He made 39 saves while being peppered all night. Wonder what the Caps players will think when they see the tape of the laziest goaltending of all time on Neal's game-tying goal late in the third.

Know Your Enemy: Rock The

What they're saying:

The Washington Capitals got a new head coach for Tuesday night's game. Now they have a new assistant coach. Bob Woods was replaced by former Washington Capital Jim Johnson as the coach of the team's defensemen and penalty killing unit. We can expect the Capitals defensemen to be a lot tougher in front of their net from now on, especially on the penalty kill, to the great relief of Caps fans. Johnson spent 13 seasons in the NHL as a tough-as-nails defenseman, playing 829 regular season games and recording 195 points and 1,197 penalty minutes.

Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:

This will be Simon Despres' first NHL regular season game.

Alexandre Picard has been sent back to WBS.

Still no news on Kris Letang or Zbynek Michalek..

Washington Capitals Notes:

Something about new Caps' coach Dale Hunter.

Something about new Caps' assistant coach Jim Johnson.

ESPN talks to Alex Ovechkin.

Favorite Washington Capitals Image, Photoshop, Gif or Video:

Still a classic.

More pics and Photoshops:

Pens and Caps. You can say whatever you want about how this isn't a rivalry since the Pens have won almost every big game between the two teams, but playing the Caps still feels special. The two teams have a history that goes back to the 90s. Dale Hunter being behind the Capitals' bench just highlights that history even more. When you add in the always interesting Crosby & Malkin versus Ovechkin & Semin storylines, these are fun hockey games to watch.

That said, it's still a regular season game and it's still two points on the line. It's always nice to get two points.

After starting the season 7-0, the Caps have gone 5-10-1 in their last 16 games. They've lost three in a row. They want this win bad. The Pens will have to find a way to want it more.

Do It.

Go Pens.