Time: 7p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington
After coming off a dominate performance against the Boston Bruins last night, the Washington Capitals head to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins. This will be the first time these two teams will meet since that fateful day in May when Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the overtime winner in Game 6 to exorcise their playoff demons.
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Brett Connolly
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – TJ Oshie
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Chandler Stephenson
Nathan Walker – Nic Dowd – Devante Smith-Pelly
Christian Djoos – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik – Madison Bowey
Keys to the Game:
1. Get an early lead
– Unlike last night when the Capitals raised their first ever Stanley Cup Banner, there are no distractions before the game, but this time they will be playing for the second consecutive day in a row and this game is on the road. The Capitals will want to score early to get the Pittsburgh crowd out of the game, and establish a rhythm like they did last night agaimst Boston.
2. Fresh legs
– Being how this will be the second day in a row that the Capitals will be playing, keeping their legs fresh will be key. Fortunately for the Capitals theynwere able to roll all four lines last night so that’ll help for when the Capitals if this game is a tighter contest.
– Last night the Capitals were horrible in the faceoff circle which saw them win a four out of 22 faceoffs in the first period alone. The Capitals will have to do much better in the faceoff circle if they hope to establish a abetter possession game against the Penguins.
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin – Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon – Derrick Brassard – Bryan Rust
Matt Cullen – Riley Sheahan – Daniel Sprong
Brian Dumoulin – Kris Letang
Olli Maatta – Jack Johnson
Jamie Oleksiak – Justin Schultz
Keys to the Game:
1. Get the jump on the Capitals
– Just like last night and how the Capitals got a quick start to get their crowd into it after the Banner Ceremony, the Penguins will be looking to do the same in their Home Opener tonight. If the Penguins can get their crowd into with a quick goal, this could be a good start to the season for the Penguins.
2. Matt Murray needs to play strong
– During the playoffs Murray played good, but did not play at the level he did when he won back to back Stanley Cups. This season Murray will want to start strong and with a strong showing against the defending Stanley Cup Champions is a good way to build back his confidence.