The Pittsburgh Penguins look to improve their winning streak to five games as they return to Pittsburgh to take on the Washington Capitals. The Penguins return home after defeating the New York Islanders 4-2 on Tuesday night. The Capitals seem to be in a downward spiral, losing their last game 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Washington is also on their own two-game losing streak.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7 p.m. et (ROOT Sports, NHL Network, Comcast Sports Network)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: The Penguins and Capitals last met on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3 in Washington D.C. Both teams came out flying, but the Penguins got the last laugh, winning 6-3. At the time the score went final, it appeared that Chris Kunitz only had a hat trick. However, since then Kunitz was awarded an additional goal, giving him four on the game. Matt Cooke and Kris Letang each added a goal apiece, and Tomas Vokoun stopped twenty-one shots to defeat his former team.
1. Penguins penalty kill: Even though they are only ranked eighth in the NHL, the penalty killing effort the Penguins have illustrated lately has been top notch. Against the Islanders, Penguins penalty killers shut down the third-ranked power play in the league, forcing the Islanders to go 0-7 on the man advantage.
2. Next goaltender up? The Capitals are going with the duo of Braden Holtby and Michael Neuvirth this season, and neither goaltender has put up outstanding numbers. In their last meeting against the Penguins, Holtby got the start, but it looks like Neuvirth will get his shot tonight. In four games this season, Holtby is sporting a goals against average of 4.52 and Neuvirth’s is 2.99.
Penguins: D Matt Niskanen (ankle), D Kris Letang (unknown; left practice early)
Capitals: D Jack Hillen (shoulder), C Brooks Laich (groin), D John Erskine (suspension)
Projected lineups (via Empty netters)
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
17 Zach Boychuk-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke-16 Brandon Sutter-48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
47 Simon Despres-42 Dylan Reese
44 Brooks Orpik-7 Paul Martin
41 Robert Bortuzzo-5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
17 Wojtek Wolski-9 Mike Ribeiro-8 Alex Ovechkin (C)
90 Marcus Johansson-19 Nicklas Backstrom (A)-20 Troy Brouwer
25 Jason Chimera-15 Joey Crabb-42 Joel Ward
26 Matt Hendricks-83 Jay Beagle-16 Eric Fehr
27 Karl Alzner-52 Mike Green (A)
3 Tom Poti-74 John Carlson
55 Jeff Schultz-36 Tomas Kundratek
30 Michael Neuvirth