Skip to content

NHL on NBCSN: Desperate Capitals face Penguins

Mar 19, 2013, 8:02 AM EST

Crosby and Ovechkin Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals at the Consol Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Just how bleak are Washington’s playoff chances at this point? If you believe that it will take 54 points to make the playoffs (about the equivalent of 92 points in a normal season), then Washington needs to go 15-4-1 for the rest of the campaign just to secure a postseason birth.

So when Alex Ovechkin told the Washington Post that how they play this week could make or break their season, he was being accurate.

“It’s pretty much must-win now till the end of the year,” Capitals forward Mathieu Perreault acknowledged.

And you can bet their long-time rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, would love to put one of the final nails in the Capitals’ coffins.

These days it seems that the rivalry between Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin has faded in the public eye. It hasn’t helped that the Washington Capitals have come under hard times over the past couple of years.

Ovechkin certainly has taken a lot of heat in recent years too and even though he is still one of the best in the game, Crosby still has more than double his 2013 points total so far.

Washington has also done a poor job of containing Crosby. They have surrendered six points to him in their two losses against Pittsburgh this season and 41 points in 24 career contests.

Still, despite having won nine games in a row, the Capitals might be facing the Penguins at an opportune time. Star forward Evgeni Malkin has missed five straight contests with an upper body injury and top defenseman Kris Letang suffered a lower body injury on Sunday.

It remains to be seen if the Penguins will be without both players, but at this point, the Capitals can use any advantage they can get. After all, even if they beat the Penguins today, they still have to win roughly three-fourths of their remaining contests.

Probable goaltenders: PIT – Marc-Andre Fleury (15-5-0, 2.45 GAA, .909 SV%) | WAS – Braden Holtby (10-9-0, 2.97 GAA, .908 SV%)

Top scorers: PIT – Crosby (13-35-48, 30 GP) | WAS – Mike Ribeiro (10-21-31, 28 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Pittsburgh – Forwards: Malkin (upper body) Defensemen: Letang (lower body)
Washington – Forwards: Brooks Laich (groin) Defensemen: Tomas Kundratek (leg), John Erskine (upper body), Mike Green (groin)

Latest Posts
  1. ‘Crippling and potentially historic’ blizzard threatens cancellations Tuesday

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:51 AM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptq1nmuzn2y4yzg1mdq0nzk3zjq2m2mwnjdkmdmxzgq3 AP

    Including an intriguing game between the Islanders and Rangers.

  2. Blue Jackets proud as Columbus shows it’s a hockey town

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:49 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition - Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Getty Images

    “We’re so proud of our city for showing that hockey is such a big deal here.”

  3. From contract dispute to All-Star MVP, Johansen’s had quite the year

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:25 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Getty Images

    “This is something I’ll remember for a very long time.”

  4. Hawks put Versteeg on LTIR, recall Rasmussen

    Jan 25, 2015, 6:43 PM EST

    Kris Versteeg Getty Images

    Chicago will resume play on Wednesday against Los Angeles.

  5. Video: Foligno sets up Johansen to delight of hometown crowd

    Jan 25, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    Johansen goal

    Johansen scored again before the first period ended.

  6. Video: Vrbata opens scoring in All-Star Game debut

    Jan 25, 2015, 5:43 PM EST

    Vrbata

    Vancouver forward gets Team Foligno on the board early.

  7. Byfuglien’s neon skates, More GoPro fun, other All-Star bits

    Jan 25, 2015, 4:58 PM EST

    buffyneon

    A grab bag of fun as the game rapidly approaches.

  8. Get your game notes: Team Toews vs. Team Foligno

    Jan 25, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    Johnny Gaudreau Johnny Gaudreau

    It’s the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, on NBCSN.

  9. WATCH LIVE: 2015 NHL All-Star Game

    Jan 25, 2015, 3:33 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Getty Images

    Team Foligno and Team Toews square off.

  10. Ovechkin’s quest for a free car continues

    Jan 25, 2015, 12:48 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    He has more control over his chances in the All-Star Game itself.

  11. Out for at least a month, Bobrovsky laments missing All-Star game

    Jan 25, 2015, 10:50 AM EST

    Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    A rare opportunity sidetracked by his groin injury.

  12. Report: Lightning’s Johnson may sit out All-Star game

    Jan 25, 2015, 9:30 AM EST

    Tyler Johnson Getty Images

    It sounds like he won’t face the same headaches as others who skipped the event.

Featured video

Who will excite most in All-Star game?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (3507)
  2. S. Crosby (2922)
  3. J. Ortio (2778)
  4. C. Price (2742)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2741)
  1. E. Malkin (2705)
  2. S. Bobrovsky (2457)
  3. Z. Rinaldo (1755)
  4. K. Versteeg (1709)
  5. J. Toews (1692)