Good Evening, Penguins fans, and welcome to your Game Day Thread. Tonight, Letsgopens.com brings you the Pittsburgh Penguins vs the Washington Capitals in an Eastern Conference matchup.
*Both teams will wear jerseys with patches commemorating the victims of the recent plane crash involving the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, and participate in a pre-game ceremony. The jerseys will be autographed after the game and auctioned on NHL.com. All proceeds will go to the families of the victims.
3-0-1 vs 2-0-0 Game time 7:00 PM, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
TV: FSP, NHL Network, Comcast SportsNet Radio: WXDX and the Penguins Radio Network, WFED and the Capitals Radio Network
Brent Johnson, 0-0-1, 0.92 GAA, .971 SV% vs Tomas Vokoun, 1-0-0, 4.62 GAA, .820 SV%
*Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby has been cleared for full contact since sustaining a concussion early this year. *The Penguins have signed Forward Chris Kunitz to a 2-year contract extension for $3.725M per year.
*Penguins Center Evgeni Malkin skated in the gameday skate with Steve Sullivan and James Neal this morning. He is a game time decision. *Marc-Andre Fleury fell ill today, and Brent Johnson will start in net. Fleury will be the backup. *The Caps called goalie Braden Holtby up from AHL Hershey today. He will be Vokoun's backup while Michal Neuvirth nurses an injury. *Left Wing Jason Chimera leads the Capitals with 3 goals on the young season. *Caps Winger Alexander Ovechkin is 0-1-1 through two games.
Asked if his teammates would feel free to hit him in practice, Crosby said "I hope so. When a guy comes back from injury you're usually a little hesitant. That's pretty normal. I might have to do something to get them to hit me. Maybe I'll have to bump them a little bit and get them going. As close to a game situation as we can get it."
On the Pens' top rated Penalty Kill, Panthers' D Brian Campbell said "They just work so hard, they pressure you a lot. They're relentless. It's not much different than what the key is for any team. But they do it so consistently."
On Ovechkin being held scoreless through the first two games, Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau said “I think he’s got a long way to go to get to where he wants to be — to be as good as he should be. He’s our number one player, but he can be better. There’s no doubt about it.”
The Capitals won, 1-0 on February 21. Michal Neuvirth stopped 39 shots for the shutout.
Sidney Crosby is out with a concussion. Brooks Orpik is out recovering from hernia surgery. Dustin Jeffrey has been practicing but is out with a torn ACL. For the Capitals, Michal Neuvirth is out with a lower body injury.
TONIGHT'S GORDIE HOWE HAT TRICK (for your pregame or intermission enjoyment):
Goal: Beaupre doesn't know whether to cry or wind his watch
Assist: Letang's shot gets deflected in by Sid
Fight: Lemieux vs Todd Krygier
Bonus: I'll take one of these tonight
Respect the game, Respect the other posters, keep the JuJu good, remember that pucks, like baseballs, can sometimes leave the playing surface, and most importantly, have fun!