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Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals


WASHINGTON — When the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals meet for the second time this season on Friday evening, each will likely be on the lookout for enchancment on offense.
Washington (Eight-7-1) is available in with a struggling energy play, whereas Pittsburgh (9-6-2) is having hassle scoring with out the person benefit.
The Penguins have the league’s third-best energy play, cashing in on 27.7 p.c of their probabilities. Nevertheless, they've been outscored 44-21 throughout 5-on-5 motion.
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored a objective in 9 video games and defenseman Kris Letang has just one objective all season. Newcomer Riley Sheahan has one help in eight video games with the Penguins.
Sure, it does,” Crosby instructed reporters Thursday when requested if it feels prefer it’s been awhile since he scored. “Normally meaning you’re near placing on in, so hopefully that’s a superb signal for me. Yeah, there’s been some probabilities there, some posts, issues like that, however nonetheless prefer to generate somewhat bit extra.”
In Tuesday’s sport, head coach Mike Sullivan reunited former linemates Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, and the pair sparked a Three-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Area with a objective and two assists every.
The Capitals received three straight earlier than shedding Tuesday at Buffalo within the second of a back-to-back. Washington is tied for 16th in league on the facility play with an 18 p.c success charge.
As well as, whereas Alex Ovechkin has 13 targets in 16 video games enjoying on the second line, top-line forwards Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie — whereas doing strong defensive work in opposition to the opponent’s prime line — should not scoring.
Oshie has one objective in his final eight video games and Backstrom hasn’t recorded some extent in his final seven.
Belief me, if there’s one participant I don’t have to fret an entire heck of loads about, it’s Nick Backstrom,” coach Barry Trotz instructed the Washington Put up. “Nick Backstrom brings a fairly good sport each evening, and I don’t choose his sport on targets and assists. He’s in all probability the final participant I've to fret about.”
On a optimistic be aware, Washington is near getting a few of its injured gamers again. Defenseman Matt Niskanen (left hand) and forwards Tyler Graovac (higher physique) and Brett Connolly (concussion) skated on Wednesday, with Connolly seemingly the closest to returning.
“I’m fairly shut, suppose I’m day-to-day. Word positive about tomorrow, however I’m considering (the sport) after that,” Connolly stated. “I felt good at this time. It was good to get on the market with the fellows and work on my sport once more.”
Within the groups’ first assembly, in October at Capital One Area, Patric Hornqvist notched a objective and an help, Matt Murray stopped 20 pictures and the Penguins received Three-2.
Letang and Conor Sheary additionally scored for Pittsburgh. Ovechkin and Christian Djoos scored for Washington and Braden Holtby made 33 saves.
Hornqvist additionally scored in Pittsburgh’s 2-Zero Recreation 7 win within the Japanese Convention semifinals in opposition to Washington.
We've got a variety of good reminiscences there,” Hornqvist instructed the workforce web site. “It’s all the time a superb matchup enjoying them so we’re excited.”
Crosby has 20 targets and 41 assists in 42 profession video games in opposition to the Capitals whereas Malkin has 16 and 35 in 37 video games.
Ovechkin has scored 31 targets and added 21 assists in 49 video games versus Pittsburgh. Backstrom has seven targets and 39 assists in 39 video games.
Neither anticipated beginning goalie has dominated on this matchup. Holtby is 7-Eight-2 with a 2.79 goals-against common, whereas Murray is Three-2 with a Three.88 GAA.

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