[ pic via tangerbabii58 on flickr ]
Washington Capitals (2-0-0) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0-1)
TV: NHL Network for people outside Pittsburgh, ROOT sports for those in, CSN-DC
Unlimited news today. Quick recap:
Kunitz re-signed for two years.
MAF is out tonight. He is sick.
Malkin is a game-time decision. ( He'll be taking part in a ceremonial faceoff, so don't flip out if you see him, and then he doesn't play)
Some guy was cleared for "full contact." today
Call to arms: STUNNED PICS. No stunned pics yet this year. Going forward, best stunned pic gets $20
Contuine on for more Gameday, and stop into cblog for streaming feeds…
p.s. No tpb pregame show ( as if anyone was listening anyway)
Season Series: First game
Last Meeting: February 21, 2011. Caps won 1-0
What we said in our recap:
We can talk about it until we are blue in the sac. The Pens got another great team effort from an undermanned team. But in the end if you don't have that superstar who is capable of changing the game on one shot, you aren't going to win. The Capitals had Alex Ovechkin. Pens didn't have Sid or Geno.Ovechkin blew a blistering shot past MAF. Game. Pens haven't scored a goal against the Caps in like 300 years.
Know Your Enemy: Japers Rink
What they're saying:
Bruce Boudreau's decision to start Michal Neuvirth in net for the team's home opener Saturday night was one that raised quite a few eyebrows (and a temper or two) around the League; after all, Tomas Vokoun had been anointed the number one guy before training camp even started, and the Opening Night start – especailly when it comes at home – typically goes along with that title. We all know perfectly well that putting Neuvirth in over Vokoun for that first game was essentially a reward for an excellent training camp by the young netminder, as well as for a '10-'11 season in which he was easily one of the team's MVPs. But that didn't stop the murmurs about a brewing goalie controversy in the District.
There is no controversy, of course. To question Vokoun's claim on the starter's role is to ignore the body of work that supports it, regardless of who opened the season (and despite the fact that Neuvirth will get his fair share of games). The only problem the Caps have in net is deciding between two extremely capable goaltenders on any given night.
Which brings us to the fact that, while no controversy is looming, there is still a decision to be made about who steps onto the ice first Thursday night when the Caps take on their biggest rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh Penguins lines:
Presumably if Malkin plays
Steve Sullivan – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Chris Kunitz – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke – Joe Vitale – Pascal Dupuis
Arron Asham/Richard Park/Steve MacIntyre – Mark Letestu – Craig Adams
Kris Letang – Deryk Engelland
Paul Martin – Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen – Ben Lovejoy
In net: Brent Johnson ( MAF is sick )
If Malkin doesn’t play:
AO – Backstrom – Brouwer
Semin –Johnasson –Knuble
Chimera-Brooks Laich-Joel Ward
Hendricks-Jeff Halpern-Beagle or Perrault