Good Ol’ Fashioned Rivalry

Article Written By: Adam Wible

Penguins Sidney Crosby #81 tries to finesse past Capitals Alex Ovechkin (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

Penguins Sidney Crosby #87 tries to finesse past Capitals Alex Ovechkin (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL leading goal scorer, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals travel to Pittsburgh, to face the host Penguins and NHL leading point getter, Sidney Crosby, in a Metropolitan Division battle tonight.

Pittsburgh is coming into tonight’s game red hot, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. They are looking for the same outcome when these teams last met. The Penguins shut out Washington 4-0 on Nov. 20, in a dominant team effort.

The Capitals know they have to play a complete team game to even have a chance in Pittsburgh Wednesday night. They come into the game on a two game losing streak, both losses coming in shootouts.

Last night, they fell 2-1 at home against San Jose. Going back to back against San Jose and Pittsburgh is no easy task.  It certainly does not help that the Penguins have had three days off, and are currently on a 12 games winning streak at the Consol Energy Center.

“We’ve got some more guys coming back,” Penguins Defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “We really haven’t had a lot of practice time with (Evgeni Malkin), (Kris Letang), and some of the new guys that we’re plugging in, so having some good practices with the group that we’re playing with will be a good thing for us.”

This has helped players like, ex-Ranger, Taylor Pyatt, who was claimed off waivers Jan. 2 and plays on the Malkin line. “This is a pretty important week for me to get more comfortable in practice,” Pyatt said Tuesday. “It’s one thing to understand the system. It’s another to go out and execute it at game pace. It’s good to practice with these guys and get familiar with everyone out there.”

Washington comes into Wednesday 4-2-2, and struggling as of late. The key for them tonight is Michal Neuvirth. Making 32 saves Friday in his comeback from injury, Neuvirth will have his hands full in an ugly matchup against the high-powered Penguins offense.

“Tonight we’ll get some rest. … It’s an 8 o’clock game, so we’ll be able to get a little more rest tomorrow,” Capitals forward Brooks Laich told Monumental Network on Tuesday.

They’ll need all the rest they can get.  Facing the NHL Wins leader Marc-Andre Fleury, the Capitals will need their superstar, NHL Goal Scoring Leader, Alex Ovechkin to net at least one goal tonight.

This game has all the makings to be a classic Crosby vs Ovi, and lucky for us, it’s part of NBCSports “Rivarly Night” on NBCSports.

My Picks

Pittsburgh 4-2, Anaheim 4-3

Upset Pick

Buffalo 3-2

Who says these guys hate each other?

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby Shake hands. (Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby Shake hands. (Getty Images)

Posted in NHL

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