Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Washington Capitals GameDay Notes, Odds, And Preview


After the 2-1 shootout loss Sunday to the Black Hawks in Chicago, the Pittsburgh Penguins (32-15-9 , 73 points) seek to break the logjam at the top of the Metropolitan Division tonight against the Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center.

The Pens are tied with the New York Rangers (34-16-5, 73 points) for second place in the Metro Division. Both teams are two points behind the New York Islanders (37-19-1, 75 points). The Rangers downed the Isles 6-5 Monday, Feb. 16 at Nasseau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Henrik Lundqvist and the Blue Shirts host the Vancouver Canucks (32-21-3, 67 points) Thursday, Feb. 19 at Madison Square Garden while the Islanders are in Carolina tonight to skate against the Hurricanes (20-28-7, 47 points).

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Barry Trotz’s squad is coming off a victory over the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Honda Center. The Caps own a record of 30-17-10, 70 points and are in fourth place in the division. They are just three points behind the second-place Penguins/Rangers while sitting five back of the Isles. Washington is 15-10-5 on the road this season, and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

Tonight the battle is renewed as it is the third of four matchups between the long-time NHL rivals. Washington has captured the first two meetings this season on the performance of goaltender Braden Holtby. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound netminder blanked the Pens 3-0 in Pittsburgh Saturday, Dec. 27, and shut them out again 4-0 Wednesday, Jan. 28 at the Verizon Center. The Black and Gold are 18-8-3 at home this season and 6-3-1 over their last 10 contests.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 17

Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m., ET

Site: CONSOL Energy Center

Television: ROOT Sports Network

Announcers: Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey

Radio Coverage: 105.9 FM – The X and the Penguins Radio Network

Announcers: Mike Lange and Phil Bourque

Live Video Steam: NHL GameCenter LIVE

Audio Stream: Penguins Radio 24/7

Sirius XM Satellite Radio: XM Channel 218, XM Internet 942

Odds: According to Bovada Online Sportsbook, oddsmakers currently have the moneyline on the two teams listed as Pittsburgh -150 / Washington +120 with the Over/Under at 5.5.

Holtby has put together a 26-12-9 record with six shutouts, a 2.20 goals-against-average and a .923 save percentage.

Caps left wing Alex Ovechkin leads the team and the NHl with 36 goals this season. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound forward has recorded 22 of those goals since Saturday, Dec. 20 which has helped Washington claim a .654 win percentage in their last 26 contests. He has contributed 16 goals on the power play and leads the team with seven game winning scores.

Washington center Nicklas Backstrom leads the team in assists with 43 and points with 59. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound forward is the third on the roster with 114 shots behind Ovechkin’s 278 and defenseman John Carlson’s 129.

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  • Keep an eye on who scores first this evening. Pittsburgh has five straight victories when they put up the game’s first goal on the scoreboard. Mike Johnston’s crew are 25-5-5 when getting on the scoresheet first this season.

    The third line of Nick Spaling, Brandon Sutter and Beau Bennett has been playing well in the last three contests. Spaling has contributed two goals while both Sutter and Bennett have chiped in two assists apiece.

    Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury should get the call tonight, and has 0.49 GAA with a pair of shutouts in his last four starts. However, the Sorel, Quebec native has surrendered seven goals to the Caps on 70 shots in the prior two meetings.

    Up Next: The Black and Gold remain home Thursday, Feb. 19 when they take the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets (24-27-3, 51 points). They will drop the puck at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast locally on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh and nationally on the NBC Sports Network.

    From The Clipboard: Blake Comeau in 19 games played at home this season has 11 goals and four assists for 15 points. Four of the goals have been game winners…Beau Bennett had a career high nine shots Sunday against Chicago. It was the second highest total by a Pittsburgh skater this season… The Pens are collecting fewer penalties of late, averaging just 2.1 power plays over their last seven matchups, after previously averaging 3.2…Michael Pityk of Pens Labyrinth reported that defenseman Christian Ehrhoff participated in the game-day skate with the team.

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