PREVIEW: Capitals vs Penguins

“Crosby vs Ovechkin, “Penguins vs Capitals” “Malkin vs Backstrom” Yes yes… We get that this is a big game. We get that it’s rivalry Wednesday on NBC sports. But the Capitals will need to ignore all the hatred and bad blood between these two teams. The Capitals need to play the best 60 minuets of hockey to beat this talented Penguins team. 

The Penguins are on an absolute tear. They will most likely win the Metropolitan division. The Penguins are 7-2-1 of their last 10. They currently have 68 points, 1st in the Eastern conference. The Penguins have a lot of depth to this team. They score on all 4 lines and have top 10 PK and PP units. This team is dangerous. The Penguins have also relied on their veteran goal tender Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has posted a .941 SV% this season. Fleury leads the league in wins with 26. He is also 3rd in shut outs with 3, one coming in November against the Capitals at Verizon Center. In the last two seasons the Penguins have dominated the series between these two teams.

The Capitals look to bounce back in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. The Capitals lost the night before to the San Jose Sharks in a 2-1 S/O bid. The Capitals received one standings point in the lost. The Capitals are currently 3-3-4 in their last 10. They have 52 standings points. Only two points separates them and 7 other teams. Adam Oates said that the plan was to play two different goalies in the back to back games. Grubauer played lights out the night before against San Jose posting a .941 SV% on 29 shots. Holtby is most likely to get the nod, but don’t be surprised if Nuevy gets the go ahead.

TEAM STATS
GP RECORD HOME AWAY L10 G/G GA/G PP% PK% PIM/G S/G S/A FO%
46 22-16-8 14-8-4 8-8-4 3-3-4 2.80 2.85 25.0 80.5 13.1 30.6 34.1 49.6
47 33-12-2 19-3-0 14-9-2 7-2-1 3.15 2.38 25.2 87.5 10.4 30.5 27.7 51.3

(via; NHL.com)

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