NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 3rd
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (21-24-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (25-17-8), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two of the NHL's biggest stars will face off this
afternoon, as Sidney Crosby and the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins welcome
Alexander Ovechkin's Washington Capitals to Mellon Arena.
The Penguins have tied a season-high with five straight wins and are coming
off Thursday's close decision over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Evgeni
Malkin scored the game-winning tally for Pittsburgh in the 6-5 shootout
Malkin's heroics came just hours after the United States District Court
dismissed the two complaints filed by the Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the
Russian Super League against the young star and the Penguins. Metallurg filed
the two suits against the Penguins after Malkin fled Russia this past August
to sign with Pittsburgh. The Russian club claimed that they still had a valid
contract with the 20-year-old Malkin.
Sergei Gonchar posted two goals and an assist for the Penguins, while Marc-
Andre Fleury blocked 40-of-44 shots in goal.
Erik Christensen also scored for Pittsburgh, and Sidney Crosby added three
assists. Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer with 82 points on the year, has now
notched a point in eight straight contests. The 19-year-old phenom has
compiled 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) over that span.
Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Whitney added an assist to extended his point
streak to nine games.
The Penguins have won four straight at home and today's test wraps up a three-
game stand at the Igloo. Pittsburgh is 14-8-4 overall at home this year.
Pittsburgh has 58 points on the year and is tied with Tampa Bay and Carolina
for the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Capitals, they have dropped two straight and seven of their last
nine contests. Washington was handed a 6-3 setback at Florida on Thursday, as
Jozef Stumpel and Martin Gelinas each had a pair of goals for the Panthers.
Ovechkin, Chris Clark and Dainius Zubrus had the tallies for Washington.
Alexander Semin also had a pair of assists, while Olaf Kolzig surrendered all
six goals on 32 shots faced.
Ovechkin has the longest current point streak in the NHL, as he has scored in
13 straight games. He has eight goals and 12 assists during the tear, but is
still second in the NHL in points to Crosby with 70.
The Caps will try to salvage a victory in the finale of this three-game road
trip. Washington is just 9-13-4 as the visitor this season.
This is just the second meeting of the year between the Caps and Penguins.
Pittsburgh won the first matchup in a shootout on December 11 in Washington
and has taken five of the last six encounters overall.
02/03 10:21:53 ET