Washington Capitals (23-26-9, 55 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (31-17-9, 71 pts)
Penguins 2, Capitals 0 on February 3rd in Pittsburgh
Penguins 5, Capitals 4 (OT - SO) on December 11th in Washington
Thibault to start today. I think that's the right decision. In a perfect world, you'd start Marc-Andre at home in a nationally televised game. But the Pens are playing again in less than 24 hours (tomorrow at 1:00), and you'd much rather see the Caps earn two points than the Isles.
Washington arrives having lost much more than they've won on the road recently, going 1-10-1 in their last 12 road games. Ollie the Goalie is hurt, so we'll see Brent Johnson in net today. Johnson isn't too bad - he's basically the Caps version of Jocelyn Thibault, though he's played much more this year than Thibault has.
The Caps have slid out of the playoff picture. They're currently 11 points out of the 8th spot. This is a team the Pens need to jump on early and often to make sure they don't get any funny ideas.
The Pens also desperately need to avoid the third period letdown that they've been allowing recently.
Let's hope the broadcast is a bit better this time on NBC. Last time it was pretty bad, if you remember.
Caps blog - Check out Bleatings from a Caps Nut. They have a nice preview of the game up, complete with references to Penguin Scum. It doesn't get any better than that. It's a nice blog, too.
I'm looking for the Pens to show patience against the trap that the Caps seem to be employing lately and post a solid victory before going to Long Island later today.
Let's Go Pens!