Monday, February 21, 2011

Game #61 - vs Washington Capitals

Game 61
Capitals (31-19-10, 72 points) at Penguins (36-19-5, 77 points)

Why does it matter?
A top conference opponent comes to Consol tonight to face a Pens' team that is still short-handed. The Pens need to keep the ship moving in the right direction and earn points.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - There's no such thing as a good loss, but the Pens did well to get out of Chicago with a point yesterday.
  • Capitals - Inconsistency has been the name of the game. The Caps have won two out of their past three, but are 8-7-5 since the Winter Classic.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens put pucks in the net? The last meeting two weeks back was decided by the Caps defense more than anything.
  • Who will win the special teams battle? The Caps haven't been taking many penalties, but they've allowed a power play goal in four straight games. The Pens have been getting to the power play but not converting with regularity.
  • Will Jordan Staal be available? His absence could be the nail in the coffin for the Pens right now, at least until some of the other guys return.
Keys to the game
  • Lock the down. The Caps have out shot their opponents in their last four wins. Win the battle of the shot margin and control the game.
  • Out work the Caps. This will lead to chances on the power play.
  • Stop Mike Knuble. He has three goals in three games against the Pens this season.

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