Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gameday: vs. Pittsburgh, Feb. 6

Ovechkin & co. exult after a PP goal in the Winter Classic.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Verizon Center this afternoon in the NBC game of the week.  The Capitals, coming off their huge win Friday night in Tampa Bay, currently stand in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and second in the Southeast Division, with 66 standings points in 53 games.  The Penguins, coming off a big win of their own Friday night in Buffalo, stand fourth in the East and second in the Atlantic Division with 72 points in 53 games.  This will be the teams' third meeting of the season, with both teams having won a game each.  The Penguins won in a shootout Dec. 23, 3-2, and the Capitals won Jan.1 in the Winter Classic by a final score of 3-1.

The Penguins will be without both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for this afternoon's game.  Crosby is still suffering from a concussion that he suffered while running in to Dave Steckel during the Winter Classic, while it was announced yesterday that Malkin will miss the rest of the season after tearing both the ACL and MCL in his right knee Friday night.  Malkin suffered the injury during a collision with Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers.  Not surprisingly, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will roll with Marc-Andre Fleury in nets for his team, marking Flower's third start of the season against Washington.

For the Capitals, Semyon Varlamov is expected get the call from Bruce Boudreau for his fourth consecutive start in nets.  Varly has only allowed five goals in his last three games, good for a 1.80 GAA and a .943 save percentage over that span, and the young Russian stopped 32 of 33 when he faced the Penguins in the Winter Classic.  Alexander Semin will not play for the home side, although Bruce Boudreau did say that he would be back in the fold sometime next week.  Semin's absence means that the top two lines will stay unchanged, but the third and fourth units might get shuffled a bit depending on whether DJ King gets a sweater from Bruce Boudreau.  Tyler Sloan will remain a healthy scratch for the Capitals on the back end.

Puck drop for this one is 12:37-ish.  Check back after the game.

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