The Washington Capitals are getting ready to conclude a five-game homestand on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This will be the sixth time in their first 19 games these two teams will meet, in what has been an amazing rivalry.
Fans who have been able to watch these two franchises, have been able to see some amazing play. As three of the last five meetings have been tied after 40 minutes of play, and three of these games going into overtime.
Two nights ago, the Capitals saw a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins, who have been able to win eight overtime/shootout decisions over their rivals.
Washington would like to see themselves in the Penguins side of the ice, creating more chances for themselves, and would like to use their great speed and athletic ability against the visiting side.
Another key to the Capitals regaining their winning ways is the team’s ability to cash in on power play chances. Thus far the Penguins have been able to win the extra-man opportunities.
Thus far the Capitals have been able to score a goal in all 18 games this season. The team has been able to see 14 different players score the first goal of the game. Nicklas Backstrom and Conor Sheary scored the team’s first goal multiple times.
Backstrom currently leads the Capitals with his 22 points in 18 games, which is also good for eighth-most points in the NHL. There is a potential milestone coming for Backstrom, who is two assist shy of 700 career assists.
Playing well in the cage for Washington has been Vitek Vanek, who has a 7-4-3 record, which trails Chicago Blackhawks keeper Kevin Lankinen (8-3-3) for the most wins among rookies.
If Vitek continues to play well, it would mark the second-consecutive season the Capitals have had a rookie keeper finish in the top-2 in wins (Ilya Samsonov: 16 wins in 2019-20).
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