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Penguins Game Day (Game 9: Capitals)

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In what seems to be a yearly tradition, the Pittsburgh Penguins will face off against the Washington Capitals on Super Bowl Sunday at 12:30pm. The Penguins seemed to have finally found their groove as they defeated both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils respectively, outscoring them 8-1. It’s expected to see much of the same from the Pens as they currently hold a 4-1 record on the road and have played some of their best hockey in their opponents buildings. Tomas Vokoun will get the start today against his former team and Zach Boychuk will participate in his second game as a Pittsburgh Penguin.

The Capitals have struggled in this young season going 2-5-1 under new head coach Adam Oates, what doesn’t help is that the Capitals star player Alex Ovechkin has also struggled only posting 2 goals and 3 points in eight games. Neither of their goaltenders have looked stellar as both Neuvirth and Holtby continue to fight for number one duties, and defense seems to be a big issue as they have been outscored 27-18 this season. Expect to see Neuvirth in net as he has played well against the Pens in the past couple seasons.

Game Time: 12:30pm est

Penguins 5-3-0

Capitals 2-5-1

Congrats to the Penguins Robert Bortuzzo on his first NHL goal in the Pens 5-1 win over the Devils Saturday afternoon.

Prediction

The Penguins have found their groove, and the Capitals are still trying to find their identity. With Vokoun coming off a stellar effort in New York and the Penguins building chemistry the Capitals are in for a real challenge. Expect the Penguins to come out of the gate flying and to put the pressure on the Caps Defense from start to finish. Penguins take the game in what will be a hard fought fast paced game.

What to Watch For

Vokoun goes up against his former team for the first time after being traded to the Penguins during the off season.

Crosby vs Ovechkin vs Malkin, for the past seven years many have dubbed the Pens vs Caps, Ovechkin vs Crosby, and no longer should it be. Malkin has proven that he is just as good if not better than both Alex and Sid, so look for Geno to prove that in this match-up.

Mike Green vs Kris Letang. Though Green has had a rough couple seasons with injuries, its always enjoyable to witness two of the top defensemen in the league go head to head.

Boychuk looked solid in his Penguins debut and showed a lot of promise, hopefully he can keep it up and prove to be a great grab by Shero.

The Penguins have scored the first goal in all but one contest so far this season, can they continue this?

Around the League

Not much more on the Roberto Luongo rumors though I am hearing that the Capitals may have thrown their hat in the ring.

The Dallas stars have made it known that they are listening to trade offers, but they are not necessarily looking to move anyone.

Whether the Coyotes will stay in Phoenix or not is still up in the air, the Jamison Group has expressed they would still like to purchase the team and keep them in Glendale, but another party has expressed interest in buying and moving the team. Could we be seeing the final games of the Phoenix Coyotes?

Possible move between the Pens and a Western Coast team. When I confirm more about it, you will know.

- Robert

Follow me on Twitter @rvslavi_HTPens

 

Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for hockeytracker.net. Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.