Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Game #42 - at Washington Capitals

2011-12 Game 42

Pittsburgh Penguins (21-16-4, 46 points) at Washington Capitals (21-17-2, 44 points)

Marcus scored twice on Monday against the Kings.  He also has a mess of a signature.

Why does it matter?

The world is ending and the sky is falling as the Pens have lost five in a row while scoring just six goals.  The Caps are always a tough draw for the Pens, so this should be a good game.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Six goals in five games will earn you five losses more often than not.
  • Capitals - They were doing better, but lost two straight in California by the same score - 5-2..
Questions to be answered
  • Where can the Pens find some confidence?  The supporting numbers are there, and the zone time is there for stretches - they need the confidence to bury the puck behind the opposition.
  • Can the Pens get to the power play?  They've earned just three chances combined in their last two games.  That speaks to a lack of effort in some ways.  See Joe Vitale for a example of how to keep skating.
  • Given the game number, I'm guessing we just don't know the question.
Keys to the game
  • Shut down Ovechkin.  The Caps are just 2-12-1 when he is held without a point.  Ovie is a -8 on the year as well.
  • Keep going.  The goals will come if the shot domination continues.  The Pens need to think a bit less and fire the puck more.  Get it to the net and crash.
  • Make it a team effort in the defensive zone.  The forwards need to make sure they can get back to help since things have been an adventure recently.

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