|"Hey, Cookie. Pull that crap again, you'll meet my butt end."|
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will roll with Marc-Andre Fleury in nets for his club for the fifth consecitive game between these two clubs. Fleury has allowed 7 goals in his 3 meetings with the Capitals this year and is coming off a 29-save performance yesterday in Chicago. The Penguins are still without no. 87, who is now pushing two months missed with a concussion that he sustained in early January. There is no timetable for Crosby's return, either, as he is still experiencing symptoms. Pittsburgh agitator Matt Cooke, who was garnered a four-game ban for leg checking Alex Ovechkin in the last meeting between the two teams, is two games removed from the end of that suspension, and, as always, will be rearing to go against his former club.
Bruce Boudreau, surprisingly, has decided to give Michal Neuvirth the nod in goal tonight, despite Semyon Varlamov's excellent performance yesterday in Buffalo. Boudreau had, until this game, employed the "win and you're in" method of selecting a goaltender, even for back-to-back games, and this begs the question that maybe Varly aggravated something yesterday (gulp). Nevertheless, Neuvirth has been great against the Penguins this year, allowing 2 goals in 2 games (one of which was a shutout), and stopping 47 of the 49 shots thrown his way. Mike Green will not play tonight, although he is still improving and went through a rigorous practice this morning without incident. After the skate, he said that he hopes to play Friday night against the Rangers. No lineup changes are expected for Washington, which means that DJ King will remain the lone healthy scratch.
Puck drops for this game 7:38-ish, and will be televised nationally on Versus. Check back after the game.