WASHINGTON — When a Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals accommodate for a second time this deteriorate on Friday night, both will be looking for alleviation on offense.
Washington (8-7-1) comes in with a struggling energy play, while Pittsburgh (9-6-2) is carrying difficulty scoring though a male advantage.
The Penguins have a league’s third-best energy play, cashing in on 27.7 percent of their chances. However, they have been outscored 44-21 during 5-on-5 action.
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored a idea in 9 games and defenseman Kris Letang has usually one idea all season. Newcomer Riley Sheahan has one support in 8 games with a Penguins.
“Yes, it does,” Crosby told reporters Thursday when asked if it feels like it’s been awhile given he scored. “Usually that means you’re tighten to putting on in, so hopefully that’s a good pointer for me. Yeah, there’s been some chances there, some posts, things like that, though still like to beget a small bit more.”
In Tuesday’s game, conduct manager Mike Sullivan reunited former linemates Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, and a span sparked a 3-1 win over a Arizona Coyotes during PPG Paints Arena with a idea and dual assists each.
The Capitals won 3 true before losing Tuesday during Buffalo in a second of a back-to-back. Washington is tied for 16th in joining on a energy play with an 18 percent success rate.
In addition, while Alex Ovechkin has 13 goals in 16 games personification on a second line, top-line forwards Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie — while doing plain defensive work opposite a opponent’s tip line — are not scoring.
Oshie has one idea in his final 8 games and Backstrom hasn’t available a indicate in his final seven.
“Trust me, if there’s one actor we don’t have to worry a whole heck of a lot about, it’s Nick Backstrom,” manager Barry Trotz told a Washington Post. “Nick Backstrom brings a flattering good diversion each night, and we don’t decider his diversion on goals and assists. He’s substantially a final actor we have to worry about.”
On a certain note, Washington is tighten to removing some of a harmed players back. Defenseman Matt Niskanen (left hand) and forwards Tyler Graovac (upper body) and Brett Connolly (concussion) skated on Wednesday, with Connolly approaching a closest to returning.
“I’m flattering close, consider I’m day-to-day. Note certain about tomorrow, though I’m meditative (the game) after that,” Connolly said. “I felt good today. It was good to get out there with a guys and work on my diversion again.”
In a teams’ initial meeting, in Oct during Capital One Arena, Patric Hornqvist notched a idea and an assist, Matt Murray stopped 20 shots and a Penguins won 3-2.
Letang and Conor Sheary also scored for Pittsburgh. Ovechkin and Christian Djoos scored for Washington and Braden Holtby done 33 saves.
Hornqvist also scored in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 Game 7 win in a Eastern Conference semifinals opposite Washington.
“We have a lot of good memories there,” Hornqvist told a group website. “It’s always a good matchup personification them so we’re excited.”
Crosby has 20 goals and 41 assists in 42 career games opposite a Capitals while Malkin has 16 and 35 in 37 games.
Ovechkin has scored 31 goals and combined 21 assists in 49 games contra Pittsburgh. Backstrom has 7 goals and 39 assists in 39 games.
Neither approaching starting goalie has dominated in this matchup. Holtby is 7-8-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average, while Murray is 3-2 with a 3.88 GAA.