The Pittsburgh Penguins (5-4-4) turned in homework the dog should have eaten on Saturday night. The Penguins power play dirt napped to an 0-4 performance, there were plenty of defensive miscues and goalie Casey DeSmith allowed a couple of softies in a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Center.
The Penguins mounted a furious comeback in the third period. A 5-0 game became a 5-3 game in just a few minutes late in the third period, but the Penguins got no closer.
Evan Rodrigues scored two goals.
The Penguins will get Sidney Crosby, Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson, and Chad Ruhwedel back into the lineup. It will be only Crosby’s second game of the season. Drew O’Connor, P.O. Joseph and Juuso Riikola were sent down to WBS.
Mike Sullivan will return behind the bench, after missing the last five games, too.
The Washington Capitals have won three in a row. They’re in second place with 20 points and six ahead of the Penguins.
What to Watch:
–The Penguins PK was dinged for two goals on Saturday night–those two goals doubled their season total. Is there anything more dangerous than Alex Ovechkin locked and loaded in the circle?
With Brian Boyle taking away the slot, the Penguins might be able to cheat over to the circle and take away–somewhat–the Ovechkin office.
–Crosby did not play well in his first game back before he entered the COVID protocol. He had no points and was a minus-3.
He’ll be energized to get back, but what about conditioning?
–The Penguins figure to have an adjustment period. Four new players in the lineup, trying to jump onto a moving train.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Rickard Rakell|
|Danton Heinen||Ryan Poehling||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brock McGinn||Sam Poulin||Drew O'Connor|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Jeff Petry|
|P.O Joseph||Jan Rutta|
Expected Capitals Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
*The Penguins were 6-2-0 against Washington last season, including a 3-1-0 record at Capital One Arena. Pittsburgh’s six wins versus the Capitals last year was most in the NHL.
*There are four former Penguins in the Capitals lineup (Sheary, Sprong, Hagelin, Schultz)
*Last season, Jake Guentzel ranked third in the NHL in points (5-5-10) versus Washington.
*Since Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06, Pittsburgh (709) and Washington (697) rank first and second in the league in regular-season wins.
*Ovechkin has 742 career goals, fourth all-time.
How to Watch:
TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X