Penguins (10-6-1) @ Capitals (9-5-4)
Capital One Arena | Washington, DC
Thursday, February 25 | 7:00PM Eastern
NBCSN | NBCSWA | AT&T-PGH
The Penguins are back in action against a very familiar foe in the Washington Capitals Thursday in DC. It’s the 2nd meeting in 3 days, and the 6th on the season, with the Penguins securing 2-point victories in 4 of 5 thus far.
The Penguins went to overtime for the 3rd time against Laviolette’s Caps, with Teddy Blueger setting up Kasperi Kapanen for the clincher in OT. Kapanen ripped home a beauty of a one-timer to beat Vitek Vanacek and get the Penguins into double-digit wins with a 3-2 victory.
The Penguins sit in a 3-way tie at 21 points, right on the cut line for the playoffs in a hotly contested MassMutual East Division.
The Penguins lost Jason Zucker in the third period to a nasty looking injury.
Zucker injury. pic.twitter.com/MWIrghYODi
— geoff (@geoffwithano) February 24, 2021
He was sent back to Pittsburgh for further evaluation and ruled out indefinitely. Zach Aston-Reese will slot up into his spot alongside Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust.
Folks, look at these gd charts https://t.co/xY9nvFZD0e
— super cool guy (@bigdaddycrame) February 25, 2021
To make matters worse, or at least make them more confusing, neither Kris Letang nor Pierre-Olivier Joseph played in the latter half of the third period. POJ was not even on the bench, whereas Letang did take a long shift in OT.
POJ and Drew O’Connor were sent to the taxi squad on Wednesday. The team claimed Mark Friedman on waivers, a third-round pick in Hextall’s first draft as an NHL GM with the Flyers. It’s likely the Pens recall each of POJ and DOC, a paper transaction to free up cash for the claim.
Jared McCann continues to near a return, but that return will not happen tonight.
Jarry earns his 6th consecutive start in the crease.
Guentzel – Crosby – Kapanen
Aston-Reese – Malkin – Rust
Lafferty – Blueger – Tanev
O’Connor – Jankowski – Sceviour
Joseph – Letang
Matheson – Marino
Pettersson – Ceci
The Capitals did secure the consolation point in the last meeting, sending them to 22 points and second in the division, 2 points back of Boston, who has two games in hand on Washington.
Lavy fired up the Line Bingo machine that he borrowed from Danny Bylsma. Call PETA, because Conor Sheary, noted Penguin Killer, will ride shotgun with Kuzya and Ovi tonight.
Laviolette on Sheary being on the RW next to Ovechkin and Kuznetsov tonight:
"I think he's been one of our most effective forwards … he's a guy for me that has done a really good job … his position has been well-earned."
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 25, 2021
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Sheary
Vrana – Backstrom – Wilson
Panik – Eller – Oshie
Hagelin – Dowd – Hathaway
Dillon – Carlson
Orlov – Schultz
Chara – Jensen