Monday, March 26, 2007

Game #77 - at Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins (43-23-10, 96 pts) at Washington Capitals (26-37-13, 65 pts)

Prior meetings:
Penguins 3, Capitals 2 on February 18th in Pittsburgh
Penguins 2, Capitals 0 on February 3rd in Pittsburgh
Penguins 5, Capitals 4 (SO) on December 11th in Washington

Let's take a look in the Wayback Machine. Back to December 11th, when the Pens played the Capitals. The Caps were 13-10-6 through 29 games and the Pens were 12-11-5 through 28 games. The Pens were down 4-0 and came back to win the game in OT. Let's go back to what I said in the game review way back then:
Like I said at the start, this was a TREMENDOUS comeback from a 4 goal deficit. I'm hoping we're looking back on this road trip (and this game in particular) as the time when the season turned around for the Pens and propelled them into the playoffs.
Ow - I just sprained my shoulder.

Since that game, the Pens are 31-12-4 while the Caps are 13-27-7. I'm not going to say the season turned on that game alone, but when you come back from a 4-0 deficit, that sure can have a long lasting impact.

That said, this won't be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. The Pens are just 4-5 in their last nine road game, including two losses last week to the Isles and Rangers. This is the first of three in a row they'll play on the road. To quote my Calculus teacher (another trip in the WAAAAYYY back machine), this will be "an opportunity to show what you've learned", though she was talking about a test.

The Caps are just bad lately, but they've been playing on the road. In their last 8 games, they've only won two. The two wins were their only two home games in that stretch, and they outscored their opponents (Toronto and Tampa Bay) by a combined 12-2. That's nothing to sneeze at. The Pens will need to be really careful and play a tight road game.

Caps blog - Japer's Rink
Go there to check out this article. No, really - go look, and do it now. You couldn't make this stuff up (but you could give some ideas to the Yinzers).

This will be a tough one, but if they Pens are serious about passing the Devils, they need the win badly.

Let's Go Pens!

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