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Game Day: Crosby vs. the Capitals, Penguins Lines, Notes & What to Watch

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, Washington Capitals

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

LWCRW
Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyEvan Rodrigues
Jason Zucker Jeff CarterDanton Heinen
Brock McGrinnTeddy BluegerKasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-ReeseDrew O'ConnorDominik Simon
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Mike Matheson Chad Ruhwedel
Goalie
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

Expected Capitals Lines, per PuckPedia.com:

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson

Johnsson-Fjallby–Eller–Hathaway

Sheary-McMichael-Sprong

Hagelin-Protas-Leason

Defense:

Fehervary-Carlson

Orlov-Jensen

van Riemsdyk-Schultz

Goalie:

Vitek Vanecek

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

 

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Katz
Katz (@paul)
21 days ago

If I’m Hextall-Burke this is not just another regular season game in November. I’m watching certain players to see if they elevate or how they respond.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda (@pozone)
21 days ago

As I have stated before this is going to be a non playoff season and we will need a big offseason by Hextall/Burke. Big decisions must be made on Malkin, Letang, Carter, Rust among others. The Pens are losing again tonigfht 5-1and they look slow and just don’t seem to have any positive energy.

Katz
Katz (@paul)
21 days ago

I’m on record from months ago. Just reread my posts. Hi Rob

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda (@pozone)
21 days ago
Reply to  Katz

I do

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